As is well known, the odds of winning at casino games are almost always stacked in favor of the casino. While this may appear to be unfair, the casino must make money in order to stay in business. On the other hand, if one is skilled in their play and has lady luck on their side, one can turn a healthy profit.
Despite the fact that the vast majority of wins are unlikely to be enough to do much more than buy a few rounds of drinks or go on a shopping spree, certain players have infamously emptied the bank accounts of specific casinos.
People who were in the right place at the right time—that is, when the machine was ready to pay—have occasionally walked away with large sums of money. Other large prizes have been won as a result of placing high stakes bets and receiving the casino gods’ favor. In either case, the stories are so inspiring and motivating that they will make you want to rush to the nearest casino and try your luck.
Cynthia Jay Brennan – The Megabucks jackpot winner
Cynthia Jay Brennan, a cocktail waitress, went to Las Vegas after finishing her shift in the year 2000 to try her luck at the state-wide lottery prize known as Megabucks. She eventually won the jackpot. She had no idea that her life was about to take an unexpected turn that would make her one of the luckiest and unluckiest women in world history.
She was fortunate to be present at the casino when the Megabucks slot machine decided to pay out the life-changing jackpot of $34,959,458.56. She was undoubtedly in the right place at the right time. Cynthia had a fantastic next few months, during which she lived the high life, married her partner, and had several plans to travel the world and experience joy along the way.
Cynthia’s joyous celebrations were cut short nine weeks after she won an incredible competition due to a cruel twist of fate. She was involved in a terrible car accident that killed her sister and left her with a damaged spine. Despite her disability and confinement to a wheelchair, she claims she would return the $35.5 million if it meant reuniting with her sister and regaining the ability to walk.
Archie Karas — Craps and Poker
Archie is likely one of the best examples of how a player’s luck in a casino can change at the drop of a hat, having witnessed both extremes of this phenomenon during his time there. His most well-known winning streak began in December 1992, when he famously turned $50 into $40 million. This was the start of his hot streak. Archie is not the type of person who would go to bed after losing $2 million in a poker game, as most people would.
Archie went to the Binions Horseshoe Casino with the meager sum of $50 he had on him. He conned another friend out of $10,000 so he could play high-stakes Razz, a game in which the player with the best hand loses. He won millions of dollars while competing against some of the world’s best poker players, including Stu Unger, Chip Reese, Johnny Chan, and Puggy Pearson. He then proceeded to the craps table, where he won another million dollars.
According to reports, he ended his winning streak at the Binions Horseshoe Casino with $17 million in his pocket, which is not bad given that he was down $2 million at the start of the streak.
Blackjack – Kerry Packer
It’s not uncommon to hear stories about exhausted gamblers who toiled away at the casino for days on end, only to have their luck shift like the wind. Kerry Packer isn’t on the list! He rose to prominence in 1995 after walking into the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and simultaneously playing eight hands of poker with a $250,000 bet on each hand. He was dealt winning hands twenty times in a row, and by the time his blackjack game was over (after only forty minutes), he had cashed out $40 million and left the casino.
Not bad for only forty minutes of work! Despite the fact that the casino may have felt the effects of Packer’s win, the dealers are said to be overjoyed because he allegedly gave them a portion of the winnings and also left them a one million dollar tip.
Mike Ashley – Roulette
Because the spin of the ball is completely random, roulette can be a difficult game to master. Sometimes it’s best to just pick your favorite number and go with it. When Mike Ashley entered a private members casino in London’s Mayfair neighborhood in 2008, he had a specific number in mind: 480,000 GBP on a full 17 hands.
This indicates that he covered the straight up as well as all of the splits, corners, streets, and six-lines on the number. He appears to have increased his profits even further by covering the middle dozen, the middle column, the first half, and black.
His total winnings for the day were 1.3 million pounds, and he made an 820,000 GBP profit after expenses. Just pocket change for an entrepreneur worth a billion dollars like him, but a staggering sum to win by betting on a single number.
Don Johnson – Blackjack
From December 2010 to April 2011, Don Johnson, CEO of Heritage Development LLC, enjoyed an unbelievable run of luck, which resulted in the accumulation of more than $15.1 million in cash. At the blackjack table in Caesars Atlantic City, he earned $4.23 million, which was the beginning of his winning streak. During the course of the same month, he was gambling at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and ended up winning a total of $998,000.
After some time had passed, he continued his winning streak by collecting another $1.8 million from the Borgata, and then another $2.25 million two nights later. Both of these wins came after he had already won a significant amount of money. He had already achieved a great deal of success, but this didn’t satisfy him, so he went on to steal $5.8 million from the Tropicana casino. This should be noted as one of the hottest runs in the history of record-keeping for temperatures.