One big advantage that tribal casinos have over state-regulated properties in the Chicago-area market is the presence of wide-area progressive slot machines that are capable of awarding jackpots in the hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars.
When jackpots are funded by banks of machines that are networked in casinos state-wide or even around the country, huge progressive awards are made possible simply because of the vast number of people who play the games.
This happy fact of casino life in the Midwest hit home for a lucky player from St. Joseph, Michigan to the tune of $509,036 in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 22, at Four Winds New Buffalo.
Seated at a “The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship” penny slot, the player lined up the jackpot symbols with a max-coin investment on the spin to send the machine into celebratory mode which could heard and seen from all around the casino floor.
Lord of the Rings is part of the WMS Gaming line of Sensory Immersion slot machines which allow gamblers to play in a 3-D sensory experience.
The headline-busting jackpot is really nothing new at Four Winds New Buffalo. There was a $211,698 check awarded on February 14. Last year someone scored a $1,038,265 jackpot on June 9. Another lucky player started 2013 off on the right foot with $744,966 on New Year’s Day.
They all pale in comparison to the $1,771,619 jackpot that was paid to a Granger, Indiana woman on Mother’s Day in 2010. She hit her incredible pay day on a quarter Wheel of Fortune Special Edition MegaJackpot machine at Four Winds.
The whopping sum was the largest single MegaJackpot payout among the 11 such jackpots on a variety of International Game Technology (IGT) progressive systems totaling over $5 million that Four Winds awarded during its first three years of operation.
The world record for a MegaJackpot is $39,713,982.25 which was claimed on March 21, 2003 at the Excalibur Casino & Hotel in Las Vegas by a 25-year-old software engineer from Los Angeles.
It came on MegaBucks, a three-coin dollar game that was the trailblazer of wide-area progressives. At the time the world record jackpot hit, the progressive had built up over a period of 10 months without a winner.
Something important has to be taken into account if you’re playing for top-award progressives. The maximum credits per spin must be played in order to become eligible to claim the prize.
Some people who make the ill-advised decision to play less than max coins on progressives are just as likely to line up the jackpot symbols as anybody. When that happens, there's a payout but only a fraction of what it would have been with the full amount of play.
When a player beats the millions to one odds for a MegaJackpot but isn't eligible for the prize, mathematical probability remains consistent but the jackpot carries on.
BLUE CHIP: The Penny Lane slot games, which feature additional bonus games built into the main theme, give B Connected club members the opportunity to win free slot play, B Connected credits, and other prizes. The Penny Lane slots will be active every Monday and Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. during the month of April.
FOUR WINDS: W Club members can win one of two Corvette Stingrays valued at $50,000 each and a share of $30,000 in cash on Sunday, May 25. Hourly cash drawings ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 will begin at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). The drawings for the Stingrays will take place at 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Earn one free entry daily by visiting the W Club. Earn additional entries by playing slots and table games.
HORSESHOE: The “Chicago Blackhawks Play 30” promotion is ongoing through April 14. Total Rewards members who play for 30 minutes and earn 25 tier credits will receive a Blackhawks gift voucher which can be redeemed at the Total Rewards Center. Visit the casino for official rules.
RIVERS: The Chicago Hockey Watch Party will be held tonight (April 3) at The Cube. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the pucks drops at 7:00 p.m. Tom Waddle from the Waddle and Silvy Show will appear from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Register during the first and second periods for a chance to win tickets to the April 6 hockey game. Drawings will be held during the first and second period intermissions.