Casino Winners: 5 Tales of Life-Altering Jackpots

Casino winners

Casino winners come in various shapes and sizes, with some being luckier than others. Skill and good fortune have played a significant role in the lives of these five big casino victors, who have managed to win life-changing windfalls.

Elmer Sherwin: The High Roller

Elmer Sherwin, a press baron and billionaire, was known for gambling higher than anyone else in the world. He risked amounts that even the super-wealthy would be hesitant to put on the line. While he experienced his share of ups and downs, one colossal victory at the MGM Grand in 1997 stands out. Sherwin played six spots at the blackjack table with $200,000 on each betting circle. When the game ended and his chips were counted, he was ahead by an estimated $20 million to $40 million. He even tipped his cocktail waitress enough to pay off her mortgage.

Elmer Sherwin: The Megabucks Winner

Las Vegas resident Elmer Sherwin made headlines in 1989 by hitting a $4.6 million Megabucks progressive slot machine jackpot just nine hours after the Mirage opened its doors. He borrowed $20 from his ex-wife Florence and went on to hit his jackpot. Sixteen years later, in 2005, he was back in action, playing the Megabucks machine at Cannery Casino, and won a payoff exceeding $21 million. Sherwin generously donated to Hurricane Katrina survivors.

Don Johnson: The Advantage Player

Don Johnson made his fortune by using computer simulations to beat horse racing. He engaged in moderate advantage playing at blackjack and capitalized significantly on comps. When he heard about desperate Atlantic City casinos offering good rules and generous discounts on loss, he decided to step up in a big way. Johnson played with a crew of associates who card counted, hole carded, and ace sequenced. He eventually extracted around $14 million from Atlantic City casino coffers.

The Anonymous Software Engineer

A 25-year-old software engineer from California put around $100 into a progressive Megabucks machine at the Excalibur in 2003. Amazingly, his spin hit, and he won $39.7 million. He requested that his name not be released and that his money be paid out in 25 installments of $1.5-million each.

Archie Karas: The Rise and Fall

Archie Karas came to America with $50 in his pocket. He made his way to Los Angeles, where he increased his bankroll to $2 million through pool hustling and sharp playing in the city’s underground poker games. However, he lost it all before arriving in Las Vegas in 1992 with nothing more than a borrowed $10,000. Over six months, he grew his bankroll to $17 million. By 1995, it is said to have reached $40 million. Unfortunately, over two disastrous years, he lost it all at craps, baccarat, and even his old standby game of poker.

Karas, a once-successful gambler, frequented the World Series of Poker for 18 years. However, his luck ran out, and he found himself in and out of money. In 2013, he was arrested for marking cards at a San Diego casino. This was not the first time he was accused of cheating, having been arrested four times previously.

Karas received three years probation and a permanent placement in Nevada’s Black Book. This prohibits him from entering any of the state’s casinos, putting an end to his gambling career.

Despite his downfall, Karas is just one example of the risks and rewards of gambling. Casino winners can quickly become losers if they are not careful. It is essential to gamble responsibly and within one’s means.

In conclusion, the thrill of winning big can be tempting, but it is important to remember that gambling is a game of chance. Approach it with caution and do not let it consume your life.

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