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Control Board to rule on disputed jackpots

Feb 4, 2003 9:18 AM

By KEN WARD

Two disputed Wheel of Fortune jackpots totaling more than $10 million will get another look from the State Gaming Control Board on Thursday.

Although both claims were previously rejected by examiners ”” and one involving a $7.7 million jackpot came before the panel last month ”” board members are said to be leaning toward re-ordering full hearings.

"It’s similar to a case three years ago that was rejected,’’ said board member Scott Scherer. "That may be persuasive, but not binding.’’

After reviewing the tapes of the $7.7 million claim, Scherer said he is leaning toward referring the matter back to another hearing examiner.

"That would give [the player] a chance to present her full case,’’ said Scherer, an attorney.

Stephanie Kremer claims she won a $7,748,687 Wheel of Fortune jackpot at Binion’s Horseshoe. But the Horseshoe ruled Kremer was not entitled to the progressive payoff because the machine didn’t display the required three Wheel of Fortune symbols.

In the other case, Francesca Galea Martin claims she won $2,889,422 on a Wheel of Fortune game at the Eldorado hotel-casino. That claim, too, was denied.

Both cases will be considered by the board at its meeting in Carson City.

IGT, maker of Wheel of Fortune, had no comment except to note that the jackpot dispute from three years ago went all the way to the Nevada Supreme Court, which threw out the player’s claim.

Attorneys for Kremer and Martin were not available for comment.