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Best of Liz Benston

Gaming Guru

Liz Benston

Jackpot Strikes a Twice for Man

16 September 2005

LAS VEGAS -- Apparently lightning does strike twice.

A 92-year-old man has accomplished the near impossible -- winning a Megabucks jackpot twice in a row. It's the first time someone has won the well-known jackpot more than once.

Local man Elmer Sherwin won the top Megabucks slot machine jackpot worth $21.1 million Thursday night at the Cannery Casino in North Las Vegas.

In 1989, Sherwin won $4.6 million from a Megabucks machine at the Mirage.

After he won the first jackpot, Sherwin said it became his "life's dream" to win it a second time, Cannery spokeswoman Aimee Worth said.

In a statement issued by IGT, Sherwin said he wanted to win the award for a second time.

"I'm glad I finally hit; I've been trying to do it again," he said.

He plans to surprise his family with the news.

"I want to see the looks on their faces when they hear," Sherwin said, noting that he soon plans to try for his third jackpot.

The Megabucks machine, made by International Game Technology, is a dollar slot machine with a building jackpot that requires a $3 bet to hit the top prize. The jackpot resets at $7 million after a jackpot is won and begins to build again until someone lines up the Megabucks symbols on the machine.

The chance of winning the Megabucks grand prize is less than one in 10 million.

"It's absurd," said Anthony Curtis, publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor newsletter. The odds of winning are "on the order of billions if not trillions to one. It's crazy."

Awards are paid in annual installments or a lump sum.

A 25-year-old software engineer from Los Angeles hit the highest jackpot in Nevada history, $39.7 million, on a Megabucks machine in March 2003.