Million dollar jackpots: Eat your heart out, Regis!

Apr 3, 2001 9:32 AM

Who wants to win a million bucks?

   In Las Vegas, slot machines create more millionaires than all the game shows combined.

   International Game Technology (IGT) alone, which operate progressive slot machines such as Megabucks, Quartermania, Wheel of Fortune, Totem Pole, Elvis and Jeopardy, has produced more than 350 millionaires (Take that, Regis!), and has awarded more than $1.6 billion in major jackpots since the first Megabucks was introduced in 1986.

   Most of the million dollar jackpot machines in casinos are progressives, whose jackpots climb until they are won. They are also linked, meaning they are connected in a statewide network.

   The jackpots are usually awarded in installments over 20 years, but some jackpots can be received in a lump sum, although in a lesser amount.

   Generally, the casinos don’t own the progressive, linked machines. Rather, the manufacturer (IGT in most cases) installs and maintains them with the casino receiving a percentage of the money collected.

   Because a portion of the money played into a machine is added to the progressive jackpot, progressive slots tend to have a lower overall payback percentage, so don’t expect as many “hits” as you would on a non-progressive machine.

   In addition to the linked progressives, there are a few slot machines in town that offer a million dollar jackpot, paid instantly and in a lump sum! These machines are often created to a casino’s specifications and include the Million Dollar Baby slots at Caesars.

   When playing these mega-jackpot slot machines, there are a few pointers to keep in mind. First and foremost, you must remember to play the maximum coins to win the jackpot. Just a few days before this issue of GamingToday went to press, a slot player lined up three Megabucks winning symbols, but had only two coins inserted. That same day, a woman hit the top prize of about $8 million. The man said he didn’t have three coins in because he was “distracted” by friends. Although he won $10,000, his friends “cost” him $7.99 million!

   If you can’t afford to play maximum coins, play a machine with a smaller denomination. For instance, if putting three $1 coins into a Megabucks machine is too costly, move down to a Quartermania, Quarters Deluxe, Elvis, Wheel of Fortune, or another progressive slot that takes quarters. If you can only afford to play one quarter at a time, move down to a nickel machine such as Nevada Nickels, Nickels Deluxe or The Addams Family. Regardless of which machine you land on, always remember to play the maximum coins. 

Here are some of the best progressive machines, along with their record payoffs

Addams Family (5¡) 


Dollars Deluxe ($1)  


Elvis (25¡)  


Elvis ($1) 


I Dream of Jeannie (5¡) 


Jeopardy (25¡)  


Jeopardy (50¡)  


Jeopardy ($1) 


Megabucks ($1) 


Nevada Nickels (5¡) 


Nickelmania (5¡) 


Nickels Deluxe (5¡) 


Party Time (25¡) 


Quartermania (25¡) 


Quarters Deluxe (25¡) 


Slotopoly (25¡)


Totem Pole (25¡) 


Wheel of Fortune (5¡) 


Wheel of Fortune (25¡) 


Wheel of Fortune (50¡) 


Wheel of Fortune ($1) 


Wheel of Fortune ($5) 


Jerry’s Nugget giving away cars, cash in April

   Jerry’s Nugget Casino cruises into spring with a $240,000 Cash and Cruiser Giveaway promotion. The Nugget will give away loads of cash, a guaranteed $45,000, plus a PT Cruiser (the hot new wheels named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year), a Dodge Neon and brand new Sebring Coupe. In addition, every one of the 90 winners chosen will take home a high-performance radio control PT Cruiser.

   Entry tickets will start being given away Sunday at 10 a.m. Every customer who shows his or her More Club players card at the More Club Center, will get one free entry every week, and each player can earn up to five free entries daily.

   On slots, video poker and video keno, players will receive one entry for every 100 More Club bonus points accumulated. In the pit, players will get one entry with every 500 points earned.

   Three drawings will be held each Thursday through Sunday, beginning this Thursday and continuing through April 22. Drawing times are 6:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Three winners will be chosen at each drawing, except at the late drawings Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

   The winners of the late drawings will get a guaranteed $5,000 cash. The Friday Grand Prize winner need not be present to win. The winners name and More Club number will be posted. If the prize is not claimed in 24 hours, then the $5,000 will be given away the following Friday as an additional Grand Prize.

   At the late drawing on Saturday, the Grand Prize winner gets a guaranteed $10,000 in cash, and must be present to win. On every Sunday, Jerry’s Nugget will award Grand Prizes of a PT Cruiser on April 8, a Dodge Neon on April 15 and a Sebring Coupe on April 22. Winners of the vehicles must be present to claim prize.

   For Bingo players, Jerry’s will host an exciting Easter Sunday Big Game bingo session with a chance to win $50,000 for a 46-number cover all. A guaranteed $2,000 prize will be awarded. The coverall payout will be $25,000 in 47 or 48 numbers, $10,000 in 49 numbers, and $5,000 for a 50-number cover all. The “Big Game” will be Sunday, April 15, at 9 p.m.