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Best of Dan Ippolito

Gaming Guru

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Top 10 land-based jackpot wins of 2020

21 December 2020

Last week, we unveiled the top 10 online jackpot wins of 2020. Online casinos thrived in 2020 due to COVID-19 forcing most land-based casinos to close down temporarily. However, despite these closures, there were still plenty of lucky gamblers who ended up with life-changing jackpots at brick and mortar casinos. Here we take a look at the top 10 land-based jackpots of the year.

10. $382,080
On 12 October, a player at Tachi Palace Casino Resort in California hit the Blackjack Stax progressive and took home $382,080.29.

Mark, a 57-year old resident of Lemoore was at the casino, enjoying a day off from work when he drew the lucky cards. When asked what he planned for his winnings, he replied, “I can’t believe it, I’m still in shock and don’t know!”

The progressive jackpot is paid out when both the dealer and player are dealt blackjacks with matching suited aces and kings and the player includes a side-bet. In this case, the lucky suit was hearts.

9. $531,639
Just a week prior to the jackpot won at Tachi Palace, a Las Vegas local ended up with a $531,639 payday at Aliante Casino Hotel and Spa in North Las Vegas.

Jesus, a frequent visitor to Aliante, was playing Face Up Pai Gow Poker at around noon when he hit a seven-card straight flush with a joker, capturing a Pai Gow Poker progressive jackpot of $531,639. Jesus, who had been planning to refinance his house, said he would instead pay off his mortgage with his winnings.

The progressive jackpot immediately reset to $150,000.

8. $656,665
Another Las Vegas Resort, this one located on The Strip, sent someone home with a massive win.

Jeremy, an Indiana resident, turned a visit to The Venetian Las Vegas into a $656,665.80 payday when he hit the jackpot on Aristocrat Gaming's Mad Max: Fury Road slot game on 28 November.

Jeremy was visiting the casino to celebrate his birthday, which made the unexpected win that much more exciting.

7. $720,221
The next jackpot took place earlier in 2020 and was won by someone visiting a casino in Mississippi.

Gold Strike Casino Resort jackpot winner Glynn C. won $720,221.19 on 12 February playing Buffalo Diamond progressive penny slots.

6. $789,062
Now let’s head back to Las Vegas where a Downtown Las Vegas regular from Hawaii turned her visit to Fremont Hotel & Casino into a nearly $790,000 jackpot playing Aristocrat’s Buffalo Inferno slot game on 16 September.

Louise, a regular visitor of the California Hotel & Casino, decided to stop by the Fremont on Wednesday morning and hit the $789,062 progressive jackpot at 8:37 a.m. The lucky guest thought she won $79,000 at first, but quickly realized she had actually won 10 times that amount.

To put the cherry on top, while she was waiting to be paid for her jackpot win, she hit another for $5,000.

5. $866,085
Kevin B., a 38-year old electrician from Tupelo, Mississippi hit a royal flush on a Mega Jackpot Progressive Ultimate Texas Hold’em machine for a life-changing win of $866,085. Kevin took home $632,242 after withholdings.

The jackpot was won at Horseshoe Casino & Hotel - Tunica and could have been one playing any of Three Card Poker, Mississippi Stud or Ultimate Texas Hold’em games.

4. $888,585
Hitting an $880,000 payday when unemployed is the definition of life-changing. That is exactly what happened for a man visiting the Atlantis Casino Resort & Spa in Reno in the first week in January.

Lawrence Fuller won the $888,585 jackpot after making a $1.80 bet on a penny slot machine. Mr. Fuller has been largely out of work for the past 15 years, except for landscape jobs here and there.

Amazingly enough, since then, he has won eight additional jackpots all on Atlantis slot machines, giving him a grand total of $903,646. His jackpots have been confirmed to be legitimate, all with low average bets.

3. $1.2 million
Dominique R. of Kosciusko, MS was playing the Wheel of Fortune slot machine at Golden Moon Hotel & Casino in Mississippi when she won a huge jackpot worth $1,235,666.25.

When her slot machine sounded, the lucky jackpot winner couldn’t believe it. “When I won, I didn’t realize that it was as much as it was and it still doesn’t seem real,” said Dominique R. “My husband was with me and he was so excited and was jumping up and down. He told that me that I just don’t know how life changing this is for us.”

2. $1.3 million
Atlantic County resident and local plumbing and HVAC contractor, James, hit a $1.3 million Royal Flush Mega Jackpot on Ultimate Texas Hold’em with a $5 progressive bet, becoming an instant millionaire at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Atlantic City.

“It is surreal to have hit a $1.3 million jackpot, especially because playing cards is a little different than laying pipe,” said, James. “We plan to take care of our family, put money away for our kids and my wife deserves a nice trip.”

1. $3.8 million
In July, someone’s life changed for the better and that person goes by the name Laurie. She was at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood playing the IGT Megabucks slots game after midnight when she saw her jackpot win of $3,854,682.

The jackpot marks the highest payout in history for all six Seminole Gaming properties and the largest slot jackpot ever awarded in Florida on an IGT game.

The guest was playing the $1 machine and had wagered a $5 bet before the jackpot was won. She celebrated her 60th birthday last week and was spending the evening at the iconic Guitar Hotel having dinner with friends at Council Oak Steaks & Seafood.

“I am in absolute shock,” she said. “You like to dream big but that’s really big. That’s not even in the ballpark of what you think you can win. That’s a lottery! It still feels like a dream.”
Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at daniel@casinocity.com, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.
Dan Ippolito
As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at daniel@casinocity.com, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.