Photo of Trinadad Torres courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.
Admit it. You have the same dream we do.
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Everything conspires and you find yourself in the right place at the right time – seated in front of a Megabucks slot machine that’s primed and ready to hit. You push the button (of course, pulling a lever would be more dramatic, but this is 2015 and the one-armed bandit has gone the way of the horse and buggy). The logos on the reels all line up. And then the moment you’ve been waiting for finally arrives…you realize you’re a millionaire.
Correction: A multimillionaire.
IGT’s Megabucks has been paying out ginormous life-changing jackpots for almost 20 years. Its slogan is “Dream big. Win big.”
A network of slot machines linked throughout Nevada, Megabucks boasts a top prize that builds from a base amount of $10 million. To play it costs $1 a spin, but to quality for that top amount you’ll have to shell out $3. That sounds pretty steep, we know. But trust us, if you hit Megabucks with only a buck or two invested, you’ll leave with a jackpot in the thousands instead of millions. And just imagine trying to live with that.
As you’d expect, Megabucks lays claim to having paid the largest slot jackpots in Vegas history. It last hit here in mid March at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. The lucky winner was Trinadad Torres, a 78-year-old woman from Magna, Utah. She played $100 before netting the $10,744,292.71 jackpot. Her plans include traveling to the Philippines and buying a yellow Mustang.
While nothing to sneeze at, Torres’ windfall just misses placing her on our list below of the 10 biggest slot jackpots ever won in Sin City.
Photo of Excalibur courtesy of MGM Resorts International.
Jackpot amount: $39,710,826.36
When: March 21, 2003
More than 12 years ago, a 25-year-old software engineer from Los Angeles, who wanted to remain anonymous (and who can blame him?), hit the city’s largest slot jackpot after playing $100 on a Megabucks machine. A C-note in return for nearly $40 million…now that’s what we’d call a damn good investment.
Photo of Cynthia Jay-Brennan at the Desert Inn courtesy of Ethan Miller / Las Vegas Sun.
Jackpot amount: $34,959,458.56
When: Jan. 26, 2000
Where: Desert Inn (imploded in phases in 2001 and 2004 to make room for Wynn Las Vegas)
Gobs bigger than any tip she’d received, cocktail waitress Cynthia Jay-Brennan, then 37 years old, hit the second largest Megabucks slot jackpot in Vegas (at that time it was the city’s highest Megabucks payout). But her story took a tragic turn when her car was rear-ended about six weeks later by a drunk driver. Her older sister Lela died in the accident, and Jay-Brennan was left paralyzed.
Photo of Palace Station courtesy of Station Casinos.
Jackpot amount: $27,580,879.60
When: Nov. 15, 1998
Ignoring your budget isn’t always a bad thing. Just ask the then 67-year-old retired flight attendant from Vegas who racked up the city’s third largest Megabucks slot payout. She’d only intended to play $100 at Palace Station that day, but wound up putting $300 in…and we’re pretty she doesn’t regret overspending one bit.
Jackpot amount: $22,621,229.74
When: May 27, 2002
How does that old expression go? The early bird catches…the $22.6 million slot jackpot. Well, that’s how Johanna Heundl (then 74 years old) of Covina, California, might remember it. She was on her way to breakfast when she decided to stop and play a Megabucks machine. Having looked away for a moment, she couldn’t believe her eyes when she turned back and saw all the logos aligned in the payline.
Photo of Caesars Palace courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.
Jackpot amount: $21,346,952.22
When: June 1, 1999
An Illinois man, then 49 years old and described as a “self-employed business consultant,” put a $10 bill into a Megabucks machine at the Roman-themed property and hit this whopping multimillion-dollar slot jackpot on his first spin. Here’s what we want to know: Is he still consulting? Can we hire him to help us get into the business of being millionaires?
Jackpot amount: $21,147,947
When: Sept. 15, 2005
Where:Cannery Casino Hotel
One man, two times a Megabucks winner. What are the odds? They’ve got to be astronomical. Certainly, anyone would be happy to score a single multimillion-dollar slot jackpot. But not everyone is Elmer Sherwin. A frequent Vegas visitor, Sherwin hit his first Megabucks jackpot of $4.6 million at The Mirage back in 1989. It was a sign of even better things to come. Sixteen years later, at the age of 92, that lucky son of a gun (kidding, we’re not jealous…really) did it again, adding another $21.1 million to his bank account.
Photo courtesy of the M Resort.
Jackpot amount: $17,329,817.80
When: Dec. 14, 2012
Oh, the best things in life are free…especially when they lead to a $17.3 million jackpot. A Las Vegas woman stopped by the M Resort in Henderson to gamble with her “free play” credits and enjoy a meal with some dining vouchers. Before she knew it, she’d become a multimillionaire.
Photo of “Rampart Lucky Local” courtesy of the Rampart Casino.
Jackpot amount: $14,282,544.21
When: Nov. 30, 2014
Where: Rampart Casino
Late last year a Las Vegas man put $20 in a Megabucks slot machine at the Summerlin-area Rampart Casino. Within five minutes he’d hit a jackpot worth $14.2 million. His plans were altruistic (unlike ours). The man, dubbed the “Rampart Lucky Local,” said he would make a donation to his church. The church, which had been holding services in a high school gym, can now have its own location built.
Photo of Aria courtesy of MGM Resorts International.
Jackpot amount: $12,769,933
When: Jan. 21, 2011
A woman visiting her niece in Vegas decided to drop $6 in a Megabucks slot machine before heading back to her room. Her reaction when the winning symbols lined up: “The machine broke.” Luckily, her niece was there to clarify things. We think we should book a room at Aria because about four months after that jackpot occurred, another Megabucks jackpot hit at the resort for $10,636,897. Talk about lightning striking twice!
Photo of New York-New York courtesy of MGM Resorts International.
Jackpot amount: $12,510,549.90
When: April 14, 1997
Where:New York-New York
New York-New York opened its doors on Jan. 3, 1997. Perhaps due to a little of the “city that never sleeps” magic, Vegas resident Suzanne Henley made her fortune at the Big Apple-themed megaresort just a few months later. On her way home from work, she stopped in to play a Megabucks machine – one that she’d had an inkling might hit. Henley waited in line an hour before she could play. And at 1:44 a.m., after putting $100 in, her diligence paid off…to the tune of more than $12.5 million.
Sky Vegas Casino has been around since 2003. From those early days, when there were just three games, Sky Vegas has risen to become one of the biggest players in the UK market. Owned and operated by BSkyB until 2013, when it was taken over by CVC Capital and run as Bonne Terre Limited, it is part of a suite of sites including Sky Bet, Sky Poker, Sky Bingo and Sky Casino.
With a slick red and black theme and a Vegas-style banner, this site certainly looks the part and has the games to back it up. With hundreds of high-quality slots - including Sky Millions and Deal or No Deal - and sky-high real money progressive jackpots, Sky Vegas has all the buzz of a real casino.
One of the really attractive thing about Sky Vegas is the easy navigation between other sites in the same family - hit a button and you can enjoy a live casino experience or one of the best sportsbooks on the market. This differentiation also means that each microsite can focus on doing what it does extremely well, rather than one site having to compromise to try to offer the full casino experience. In the case of Sky Vegas, this is slots, slots and more slots.
If you want table games, you need to head to Sky Casino, although there are a couple of variants of poker, roulette and blackjack available at Sky Vegas. Players are far less impressed by these than by the superb collection of slots, but they can be a welcome distraction after watching the reels for a while.
Sky Vegas is powered by OpenBet software, which aggregates games from some of the biggest and best names in slots. These include IGT (Diamond Queen, Cleopatra), Novomatic (Dolphin’s Pearl, Book of Ra), Playtech (Jackpot Bells, Man of Steel), NetEnt (Jackhammer, Jackhammer 2, Aliens), WMS (Bruce Lee, Lancelot) and NexGen Gaming (Merlin’s Millions). These renowned names give the slots available at Sky Vegas a really premium feel.
Sky Vegas has one of the best selections of slots in the gaming marketplace. With such a huge choice of themes and playing styles, there really is plenty for every type of gamer - from the beginner and casual player to the high roller - to enjoy. The Jackhammer games are incredibly popular thanks to their superb cartoon graphics and strong gameplay, while Twin Spin from the same developer NetEnt is a retro fruit machine with big prizes and 243 ways to win.
WMS is well known in the slots business and has some strong offerings here, including Giant’s Gold with its 100 paylines and stacked wilds, Zeus III with its ever-popular ancient Greece theme, and Bruce Lee with its superb graphics and innovative gameplay. There are some huge jackpots on offer from slots such as the Aladdin-themed Genie Jackpots, the Neanderthal-themed Rolling Stone Age with its three progressive jackpots, and Mega Jackpots Cleopatra with its 15 free spins bonus.
You will have access to these and more once you sign up for a free account. The slots on offer at Sky Vegas really are impressive, with great graphics and animations and a range of bonus action. With sticky and stacking wilds, free spins and special bonus rounds such as pick and win, the slots on offer at Sky Vegas have a quality look and feel that puts this website at the forefront of online gaming.
Given Sky’s role in telecommunications and entertainment, you would be surprised if Sky Vegas did not have a great app - and it does. The iOS app can be downloaded and installed direct from the App Store, while the Android app can be downloaded direct from the Sky Vegas website. Simply register for an account, download the APK (Android package file), and click on the file to install. Both apps install with ease and run smoothly, giving you access to the full desktop experience.
The mobile site also delivers a really excellent experience using HTML5. This means you will experience a rich multimedia experience without having to download any software or annoying plugins. The site loads quickly, and the experience is slick and professional. There is perfect optimisation for every type of mobile device, from older smartphones to tablets and today’s six-inch plus screens.
Sky Vegas does not deliver a live casino experience; however, you can select the Sky Live Casino button at the top of the screen for a premium live casino experience over several roulette tables, blackjack games, baccarat, casino hold’em and hi-lo. The ability to switch easily between a range of Sky sites that deliver a specific casino or betting experience is one of the big draws of the Sky gaming concept.
The range of deposit methods at Sky Vegas is relatively small and you can’t use an e-wallet service such as Skrill or Neteller. The accepted deposit methods are Visa credit, Visa debit, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Maestro, Solo, and PayPal. Deposits can be made in pounds or euros and there is currently a minimum deposit of £5, although Sky reserves the right to change this at any time.
Once you have submitted your withdrawal request and received confirmation, funds will be credited to you within two to five days for bank cards and on the same day for online payment services. Round robin sports betting. There is a £10 minimum withdrawal fee and a maximum withdrawal amount of £50,000 in any 24-hour period.
This is unfortunately where Sky Vegas comes unstuck, with widespread reports of poor customer service. The help and support pages seem to continually register high contact volumes and you have to go through a contact form process before you can use live chat or email. The contact menu features a series of large buttons that take you to a page from where you can reach the contact page.
If this sounds unnecessarily complicated, it is. It is a shame there is no straightforward live chat button for problem resolution straightaway and it is easy to see why users have been frustrated by Sky Vegas customer support - or the lack of it. There is no live chat, email or telephone contact, which means you are reliant on getting a response through the contact form. It seems this can be hit and miss.
Sky Vegas has GamCare certification and works with a number of independent gambling charities to ensure it offers responsible gambling. Links to major responsible gambling websites and information can be found at the bottom of the screen. There are also a number of self-help tools, including deposit limits over 24 hours and up to 30 days, reality checks to interrupt your gameplay every 20 minutes, cool-off periods of 1-30 days, and self-exclusion periods of six months to five years.
Sky Vegas encrypts all data using industry standard SSL security.
Sky Vegas is licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, which is one of the most reputable regulators in the market, and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, which is another strong regulatory body. These bodies both act to ensure the fairness and legitimacy of Sky Vegas in the UK (UKGC) and elsewhere (Alderney Gambling Control Commission).
New customers can deposit £10 to get a £40 bonus: - SMS opt-in is required. - Minimum £10 deposit, maximum £40 bonus. - 40x wagering requirement applies. - Table and card games contribute 20 per cent. - Super Money Monopoly is excluded from the offer. - A 30-day expiry period applies. - More terms and conditions can be found on the website.
Sky Vegas also offers a £10 no deposit bonus: - £20x wagering requirement applies. - Table and card games contribute 10 per cent. - Super Money Monopoly is excluded from this offer. - Further terms and conditions apply - check the website.
Sky Vegas has a free spins promise that all free spins are worth a minimum of 10p. Opt in by SMS to receive bonus offers from Sky Vegas.
There are currently no bonus codes, vouchers or promo codes available
Sky Vegas has a series of ongoing promotions, including the 9pm-11pm random bonus, and other time-limited bonuses you will receive if you sign up for SMS communications.
Hit the ‘join now’ button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, then fill in your details to complete the registration process. It is quick, easy and free.
Sky Vegas prefers you to fill in a contact form rather than calling the company.
Click on the button in the top right-hand corner of the screen and input your username and PIN. There are links to recovery methods if you have forgotten this vital information.
You will need to notify customer services. To do so, click the ‘help and support’ button at the bottom of the page and select the nature of your query to request the closure of your account. You can also opt for self-exclusion.
Sky Vegas is verified by the UKGC and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, which are two of the strictest regulators in the gambling marketplace.
To withdraw the bonus, you will need to meet the wagering conditions by wagering through your bonus amount the correct number of times on qualifying games. Check the website for all terms and conditions.
Yes, the Sky Vegas bonus is legitimate, as verified by the UKGC and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission.
Yes, there are. These are 40x for the deposit bonus and 20x for the no deposit bonus.
If you are having difficulty withdrawing your Sky Vegas bonus winnings, the chances are that you have not fulfilled the wagering requirements. Login to your account and check the status.
Yes, you can withdraw the money you win on the free spins bonus.
Yes, it does. Download the iOS app direct from the App Store and the APK file for Android direct from the website. The HTML5 optimised mobile website also delivers a premium gaming experience.
No, there is no specific mobile bonus.
Yes, you can use PayPal to top up your Sky Vegas account quickly and easily.
No, you can only currently top up your account via credit or debit card or PayPal.
No, but iOS and Android apps are available for fast and smooth gameplay.
Yes, you can. Just enter the website URL and enjoy a multimedia experience in HTML5.
Yes, either through the iOS app available from the App Store or the mobile website.
Mobile casino tournaments are currently not available.
No, you can only deposit through the approved methods, which include PayPal and major debit and credit cards.