Megabucks hits at Wynn

Aug 7, 2006 3:08 AM

As a surprise for his wife, Joey Penn booked a Las Vegas vacation to coincide with Las Vegas Market at World Market Center. A last minute arrangement, Penn took advantage of a slot tournament at Wynn Las Vegas which turned out to be a life-changing decision. Penn hit a $12,317,717 Megabucks jackpot on July 28 at Wynn Las Vegas, just a few minutes before 7 p.m. "It’s Christmas in July, that’s for sure," said Penn.

With only one credit left to play, the savvy player knew he didn’t want to play without the maximum coins in. After inserting $100 into the machine, Penn watched as the Megabucks eagles lined up in front of him. "I saw the first two symbols and thought, that’s got to be good. Then the third symbol lined up and I said, That’s the big one!"

Usually $5 slot players, Penn’s wife, Melissa, had talked him into playing the two Megabucks machines next to her. In fact, Penn’s wife had just hit a $3,000 jackpot earlier on the same bank of four Megabucks machines. "She told me to sit down and play it," said Penn, giving full credit to his wife for having made the winning suggestion.

"Melissa had won $30,000 on our last trip to Las Vegas. We thought that was amazing and even commented on how we would never top it," Penn recollected. Just a week before their 19th wedding anniversary, the Penn’s certainly topped it and more. "Just before it hit, I had told my wife that somebody has to hit it — why not us."

As he relaxed in the lounge, Penn was surprised by several congratulatory guests. Steve and Elaine Wynn came in to congratulate him personally on his win. After a quick chat, the cheerful Wynn congratulated him again before leaving. Not long after Wynn, Andrew Pascal, president of Wynn Las Vegas, came in to add his congratulations to Penn. "This is almost as exciting as hitting the Megabucks," expressed Penn of his new acquaintances. "Wow!"

The 38-year-old from Zachary, Louisiana, knew what he wanted to do first with his winnings. "I’m buying her a Bentley Continental GT," he said with confidence.

The Penn’s have just poured the foundation for a new home in Louisiana and had spent their trip browsing the World Market Center for decorating ideas and enjoying the glamorous interior design schemes. "We will definitely be upgrading the interior now," laughed Penn of his new home.

The owner of a successful truck stop and partner in a construction company in Louisiana, Penn plans to continue working. In addition to the home upgrades and new car, Penn plans to use his winnings to fund his children’s’ college education.