07th Aug2019

The Luckiest and Most Hapless Casino Players Ever

by James Smith

For some people, online casino games are just for fun and entertainment. For more serious players, the games are there to make money from. Many millions of people around the world play online casino games determined to score a big win and make a significant profit. Some very lucky people do walk away with a handsome cash win, though these people are few and far between. After all, not everyone will win at casino games – if they did, casinos would quickly run out money. The way these games work, only a few people can win, especially when it comes to the highest payouts.

Given the potentially huge payouts that some casino games can have, it should come as no surprise that some players end up making big losses. When gambling for real money, you should only ever use money that you can afford to lose; you should also avoid chasing losses, i.e. don’t keep on playing hoping to win and recoup your losses because that might never happen. While some have landed some huge, life-changing wins from online casino games, there have been some who haven’t been so sensible and have lost incredible sums of money. Here’s a look at some of the luckiest and unluckiest players ever.

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Biggest Online Progressive Jackpot Payout

A progressive jackpot is a slot whose jackpot doesn’t have an upper limit. The jackpot grows every time someone places a bet on the slot. A portion of all bets contribute towards the jackpot. The jackpot keeps on growing so long as people place bets on the slot. Progressive jackpots can be won in different ways. For some games, you can win the jackpot on any spin of the reels; for others, you have to be betting the maximum amount for a chance to win; then there are some where there’s more than one progressive jackpot, and you trigger a mini-game to decide which jackpot prize you get.

Mega Moolah is currently the world’s highest paying progressive jackpot slot. It’s responsible for more of the ten biggest online progressive jackpot payouts than any other slot. Developed by Microgaming, one of the leading online casino game providers, Mega Moolah is themed after an African safari. It has no fewer than four progressive jackpots, all of which start off at a different amount. You trigger the progressive jackpot feature at random and then get to spin a wheel to determine which of the four jackpots you’ll get. The slot also has a free spins round where all wins are trebled.

A ridiculously lucky person playing at the online casino Grand Mondial scooped a record-breaking win of €18,915,721 playing Mega Moolah. This is the biggest ever sum of money won on an online casino game. It beats the previous record of €17,860,868, which was won on the Mega Fortune progressive jackpot slot in 2013 by someone playing at a Finnish online casino.

Biggest Land-Based Casino Wins

It goes without saying that it’s not just online casinos that can payout out eight-figure sums; land-based casinos have paid out their fair share of crazily high cash prizes as well. In fact, many of the biggest land-based casino wins are much larger than the biggest online casino payout. Most of these wins took place at various casino resorts in Las Vegas, which is renowned as one of the world’s leading gambling destinations. The desert city has long had a reputation as a gambling haven and continues to attract tens of millions of keen gamblers every year.

There was an anonymous man from Los Angeles who gambled at the Excalibur Casino while waiting for a basketball game to start. He ended up winning a staggering $39.7 million! He decided to have his winnings paid to him in annual instalments over the next 25 years. Then there was an elderly woman who won not one, but two very large sums of money. She first won $800,000 playing The Wheel of Fortune at Palace Station Hotel; then just a few months later, she won a huge $27 million playing the Megabucks slot machine.

As well as players who have won huge cash prizes in one go, there are some who have started off with a small amount of money and made a huge profit over a long period of time. Archie Karas is a good example: he started gambling back in December 1992 with just $50. He spent much of the next two years gambling and managed to turn his initial $50 into a cool $40 million! There are some who have won huge sums not once, but twice. A World War II veteran by the name of Elmer Sherwin won $4.6 million just hours after the Mirage casino resort opened in Las Vegas; he was 76 at the time. Some years later, he visited the casino again and ended up winning $21 million!

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Biggest Casino Losses

Unfortunately, there have been many cases of people losing extraordinary sums of money playing casino games. One of the most notorious gamblers is Terry Watanabe, a Japanese businessman who was known in Vegas in the mid-naughties as a whale, i.e. someone who gambles excessively with large amounts of money. Watanabe went on to become addicted to gambling and endured one of the biggest losing streaks ever. It’s reported he managed to spend $208 million in a single year!

Another player who suffered seriously heavy losses was Kerry Packer, a media tycoon from Australia. Back in 1999 while in the UK, Packer ended up suffering a losing streak that cost him almost £20 million in the space of just three weeks. Omar Siddiqui from San Francisco incurred losses in the region of $65 million and even lost around $8 million in a single day. An unnamed Greek tycoon managed to lose $24 million across numerous visits to various casinos throughout London.

Maureen O’Connor was a former mayor of San Diego who ended up getting so addicted to gambling that she reportedly spent over $1 billion at various casinos. So bad was her problem that she sold various properties and high-value personal items to fund her addiction; she also committed fraud against the charitable foundation belonging to her ex-husband to acquire more gambling funds.

Then there’s the story of Harry Kakavas. The Australian real estate developer spent $1.5 billion on casino games, most of them baccarat games, over the course of 14 months. His gambling resulted in losses of around $30 million. Kakavas took Melbourne’s Crown Casino to court, claiming the casino should have done more to stop him from gambling so much and that they shouldn’t have offered him incentives, such as the use of a private jet. The case was settled in favour of the casino since it was decided that Kakavas had gambled of his own accord.

Don’t Chase Your Losses

Gambling for real money should only ever be done for fun. You should always be sensible when gambling and keep to your budget, whatever size it is. Don’t become determined to win big because chances are they will never happen; that being said, do make the most of deposit bonuses such as https://getcasinobonus.net/deposit-bonus/1-pound/ and other special offers to make your money last longer. It can be tempting to read about the multi-million cash prizes and want such a huge prize for yourself, but the odds are very much against you. The best way to approach real-money gambling is to treat it is a paid hobby that might give you the occasional win if you’re lucky enough. Quit while you’re ahead and don’t get into the habit of chasing your losses.
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