Retiree hits Megabucks at Bally’s

May 28, 2002 9:59 AM

A 74-year-old retiree from California on Monday morning passed up breakfast to play Megabucks at Bally’s Las Vegas. After she hit the $22,618,156 jackpot, Johanna Heundl must have felt like she gained a few pounds!

The Megabucks award was the first in over a year, and the third largest in its history. It was also the first to be hit at Bally’s.

A retired printer from Covina, Calif., Heundl said she almost left the machine after playing $100. But she put in a second $100 bill and hit the elusive prize with $23 still on the credit meter.

The Megabucks jackpot was the 57th awarded by IGT since the progressive jackpot originated in 1986.

A frequent visitor to Las Vegas, Heundl is a long-time Bally’s customer, and was in town celebrating her birthday, which was on May 17. “I love Bally’s,” she said. “Even after this win, I’ll still come to Bally’s!”

The Megabucks jackpot is usually paid in 25 annual installments, and Heundl received her first check for $907,799.33 on Monday. She’s indicated, though, she could take the balance in a reduced, lump sum.

When asked what she would do with the money, Heundl said she just bought a new car and already has a house. But she indicated she may find a new home, as well as travel to Europe.