There’s no doubt that gambling is an exciting experience. Regardless of whether you’re just starting out or have years of experience, the potential of winning is always exciting. These 5 lucky people below have inspired players of casino games all around the world.
5 biggest casino wins of all time
Gloria McKensie – $590.5 Million. In May 2013, Gloria McKensie set a new record in winning the Powerball Lottery, making it to the top of the list of the greatest casino wins of all time. With chances of winning being 1 in 175 million, this 84-year-old grandma supposedly jumped the queue thanks to the kindness of a total stranger. Unfortunately for that person, they’d lost out on half a billion dollars. Rather than take the winnings over 30 regular annual installments, Gloria opted to cash out half of it straight away. Funnily enough, the town where she lives, Zephyrhills in Florida, survives on a budget equal to a mere one-tenth of her winnings!
Archie Karas – $40 Million. In December 1992, Archie Karas managed to lose $2 million in a poker game, leaving him only $50 when he headed to Vegas. Fortunately for him, when he met a friend at Binion’s Horseshoe Casino, he managed to borrow $10,000 with a 50% interest rate. His luck turned around, winning $17 million and paying off his debt. However, things then took a turn for the worst, when he then lost $17 million on baccarat and a further $2 million on poker. All of the casinos latched on throughout Nevada and Las Vegas, and he received a lifetime ban as a result.
Unknown Engineer – $39.7 Million. A man, who chose not to reveal his name, rather, referring to himself as a 25-year-old engineer from LA, entered the Excalibur Casino to pass some time before waiting for a baseball game. He deposited $100, able to win back $40 each time. His total winnings came to an impressive $39,713, 982.25. This was actually the amount of profit the venue was earning per month at the time. He was dubbed as receiving one of the highest payouts ever in Vegas, pretty impressive for someone looking to pass some time before a baseball game! Unlike some other winners, who took out a chunk of their earnings, this unknown man opted to take out $1.5 million over the next 25 years.
Kerry Packer – Between $20 and $40 Million. Australian billionaire Kerry Packer entered a Las Vegas Casino one night with a curiosity to play blackjack and baccarat. That initial curiosity led to him winning in the region of $20 and $40 million that same evening. Rather than keeping the money, he used it that same night at the MGM Grand, tipping some of the staff there up to $1 million in total. Unfortunately, this fortune was short-lived, when, after gambling in London, he managed to lose $28 million. Perhaps the moral of this story is, know the right time to quit.
Cynthia Jay-Brennan – $34.95 Million. As a way to pass some time, Cynthia had a go at a Megabucks slot machine while attending her mother in law’s birthday party. She never realized that by her 9th attempt, she’d manage to win $34.95 million, one of the biggest jackpots for this game at the time. With this life-changing sum of money, she was able to quit her job, travel the world, and marry her partner.
Big winnings don’t guarantee a positive future
Regardless of whether you’re an absolute beginner or a seasoned professional, the chances of becoming a multi-millionaire from gambling are slim. However, there are the select few that do manage to win it big, even despite a lack of experience. Gloria McKensie holds the title of biggest ever win at a casino, taking away $590.5 million. Money like this is clearly life-changing, enabling the winner to quit their job, get married, or travel the world if they choose. Which is precisely what Cynthia Jay-Brennan did with her winnings.
On the other hand, big wins aren’t everything, as demonstrated again by Cynthia, who suffered the death of her sister and permanent disability after her involvement in a severe car accident. Then there’s the case of Kerry Packer. The multi-millionaire who didn’t know when to stop and lost all his winnings.