Everybody steps into the casino with dreams of walking out a millionaire! But it rarely happens. Most of us lose it all or maybe break even. If you’re lucky, you might double your money, but it’s unlikely that you will win a huge sum. Unlikely, but not impossible. There are plenty of people out there that have made that dream a reality. These are the 10 biggest ever sums won by casino goers.
1. Archie Karas – $40 million
There are lots of people that win big in poker tournaments, but not quite as big as Archie Karas. When he arrived in Las Vegas from his home country of Greece, he only had $50 in his pocket. But he soon established himself as one of the best poker players ever, and in a legendary streak of good luck – which later became known as ‘the run,’ he managed to win around $40 million in 3 months. What’s even more amazing, is that he lost it all again in the space of 3 months!
2. Kerry Packer $30 million
Kerry Packer comes second on this list, even though others walked out of the casino with more money, because he technically did win $40 million. But by the time he left, he only had $30 million left because he’d spent so much on other games after his big win. He was, in actual fact, a billionaire before he started, so $10 million was just pocket change to him!
3. Unknown Engineer – $39.7 million
The unknown engineer was, as the name suggests, an engineer that maintained his privacy after his big win. He managed to bag a massive $39.7 million, playing the slots at Excalibur in Las Vegas. But unlike Kerry Packer, he didn’t start blowing money right away – he took a sensible approach. He split his winnings and now gets $1.5 million each year, which makes for a pretty comfortable lifestyle.
4. Peter the Norwegian – $38 million
Peter is not the real name of this anonymous winner, it’s just the name he was given after his big win. Not much is known about him except that he is from Norway and he is incredibly rich. He made his fortune playing online casino games like the ones on Slots.lv. People don’t realize that these online games have such big jackpots, but Peter soon found out when he managed to win a massive $38 million, and he was only 20 at the time!
5. Elmer Sherwin – $26 million total
Elmer Sherwin is proof that lightning can strike in the same place twice. After his first $5 million win on an RV trip through Vegas with his wife, he could have stopped and never gambled again. But 16 years later, on a return trip to Vegas, he thought he would try his luck once more and it’s a good job he did, because he walked away with another $21 million.
6. John Tippin – $12 million
John Tippin’s story of winning big, is more of a nightmare than a dream. He won $12 million on a slot machine at Gold Coast Casino, but the money didn’t change his life for the better. Being rich made him isolated and he lost a lot of friends. Ultimately, he spent all of the money on wasteful luxuries and ended up writing a book about his bad experience.
7. Amy Nishimura – $8.9 Million
Anybody that saw Amy Nishimura talking to the slot machines at The Fremont as she played them, probably thought she was crazy! But maybe it worked, because she ended up winning $8.9 million. This was on one of her annual trips to Vegas, so it just goes to show, sometimes, perseverance is key.
8. Beverly Whitten – $3.7 Million
Beverley Whitten didn’t have much money as a retired teacher, so it meant a huge amount to her when she hit the jackpot on a slot machine at the Mountaineer Casino and Resort in West Virginia. Just like the mysterious unknown engineer we mentioned, she decided to take the money in installments so she could have a comfortable retirement.
9. Mike Ashley – $1.6 million
Mike Ashley, the British football team owner and retail magnate, is a fairly unpopular character, so it was a bit of a kick in the teeth when he won big! To rub salt in the wound, it only took him 15 minutes of playing in a London casino, before he walked out with $1.6 million, which he didn’t really need because he’s already a millionaire.
10. Charlie Wells – $1 million
There is a lot of dispute about Charlie Wells and whether his $1 million win really counts. He is known as the man who broke the bank at the Monte Carlo Casino in the late 1800s. He claimed that he had a foolproof system for winning every time, and it seemed to work, as he left with $1 million, which is a huge amount in today’s money. But some say that he actually found a way to cheat, and his winnings are not legitimate because he was a known fraudster. Nobody will ever know the truth, but on paper, he remains one of the biggest casino winners ever.
So, it just goes to show, if you try your luck at the casino, there is every chance that you could win life changing sums of money…