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Finding Fortune in Laughlin

Jan 13, 2004 2:24 AM

Pictured are the hands of the camera-shy mega-jackpot Wheel of Fortune winner displaying the ceremonial big check in the awesome amount of $878,278.71 at the Edgewater Hotel & Casino.

Chaiyaphan (Paul) Intrapairote had won a complimentary stay at the resort at a company Christmas party, and brought his fiancée to Laughlin as an early birthday celebration for her. A supervisory chef in Las Vegas, Paul had not been to Laughlin for awhile but welcomed the chance for some rest and recreation after the holidays.

A loyal ONE Club member, Paul and his fiancée spent some time playing their favorite slot machines for a few hours, and they sought out the quarter Wheel of Fortune machines where they won a few smaller amounts, until Paul changed to one machine that seemed to "call out" to him.

He was shocked and dumbfounded when the winning reels lined up for the mega jackpot of $878,278.71. This included a bonus of $21.55 because the meter keeps running while a jackpot is being verified.

Paul, a native of Thailand, returns there to visit his mother and sister every year — a 24-hour flight from Nevada. With part of his winnings he will be taking his fiancée with him next time, and perhaps he’ll be booking an upgrade from Coach to First Class! What a way to start off the New Year!