Scooping up a casino jackpot win is the stuff of dreams for most of us; but for some very lucky – and in some cases, very clever – people out there, that huge win became a reality. There have been some incredible successes in casino history; both at land-based casinos and UK casinos online. We’re going to take a look at some of the greatest wins, and how they did it.
That’ll Do Me Nicely
The British billionaire Mike Ashley – owner of Newcastle United football club and retail stores such as Sports Direct – came out £1 million richer when playing Roulette in 2008. Enjoying a night at London’s Fifty Casino, Mike Ashley placed a bet on every single combination to include a specific number (17), in every kind of pattern. This is called a complex bet. He started out with £480,000 and walked away with £1.5million just 15 minutes after he started playing. Rumour has it, he exclaimed, “That’ll do me nicely. Thanks very much.”
Beating the Odds
Winning $4.6m at Las Vegas’ The Mirage, Elmer Sherwin thought he couldn’t get any luckier. However, at the age of 92, 16 years later, he again scooped up a phenomenal win in Las Vegas; this time a jaw-dropping $21m! Sadly, he passed away only two years later, but he used his money to help out with devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina and to financially support his family.
Breaking the Bank
Winning $1m would be incredible even today; but imagine winning a million in the 1890s? This happened to Charlie Deville Wells in 1892, known as the man who “broke the bank of Monaco”. He played at the Monte Carlo casino for 11 hours straight; already a rich man starting out with $4000 and coming out with $1m.
Unfortunately, not all casino success tales have happy endings. There is the famous case of Cynthia Jay Brennan, a Las Vegas cocktail waitress working hard to save for her upcoming wedding. In 2002, she won $35m on a Megabucks slot machine. Tragically, only several weeks after her wedding, she was involved in a car accident which caused the death of her sister and paralysed Jay Brennan from the chest down, meaning she will never walk again. Jay Brennan has since stated that she would give her winnings back in a heartbeat to change what happened to her and her family.
In 1992, a Greek American known as Archie Karas drove to Las Vegas with just $50. He managed to convince a gambler to lend him $10,000 to gamble, and by early 1995 this sum had rocketed to an incredible $40m. Karas’ incredible and lengthy winning streak has known as ‘The Run’, and it spanned over 2.5 years. It came to end in 1995, however, when he lost all of his money.
Gambling for Good
A 32-year-old Londoner called Ashley Revell, decided he would sell all his possessions (clothes, BMW and even his Rolex) and headed out to Las Vegas with just the clothes he was wearing and a total of £80,000 cash. Revell played Roulette in a Vegas casino, opting to bet on black but being persuaded, at the last minute, to change to red. The choice was the right one, and he won £154,000. Revell has since remained in the industry and is now the owner of iGaming Recruitment.