Most Money Won in a Casino in One Night


While gambling is meant for entertainment, winning remains an aspiration. Gamblers worldwide look forward to hitting the jackpot or landing a mega win. As of 2021, the global gambling industry’s worth was $231 Billion, and leading markets included the USA, UK, Italy, Japan, and China. 

Elmer Sherwin hit the same jackpot twice, a $40,000,000 big casino winner who ended up in jail for marking cards, and a woman who almost died a few months after hitting a $35 Million pot. Let’s look into some of the biggest gambling wins ever and shocking stories about players.

Key Issues of the Article:

  • Gambling rewards beyond casinos, both online and offline. 
  • Some lucky players have made huge winnings through other forms of gambling, including horse racing and lottery. 
  • The biggest online jackpots and gambling wins in history (provided in this article) were developed and searched by casino experts. 
  • get acquainted on the PokiesLAB website, a large hub of the Australian online pokies for real money.
  • Slots with jackpots, progressive or fixed, and high RTPs are the most sought-after games with the biggest casino wins in history. 

This list explores some of the greatest stories in gambling, especially in land-based casinos. It includes slots, biggest wins or a combination of various games. In addition, it contains players who wagered for the first time and won jackpots, as well as some popular pro gamblers.

  • Name: Anonymous
  • Place: Excalibur Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
  • Amount Won: $ 39.7,000,000 (2003)

An anonymous 25-year-old software engineer traveled from LA to Las Vegas for the NCAA Basketball tournament. At an Excalibur Hotel, he put $3 into a Megabucks slot machine and hit the jackpot, which had grown untouched since a woman won $22.6 million on a Bally’s machine in January 2002. Per a casino spokesperson, a biggest casino winner in the world could take annual payments over 25 years or negotiate a lump sum payout.

  • Name: Anonymous
  • Place: Palace Station, Las Vegas
  • Amount Won: $39.7,000,000 (2003)

In 2003 an anonymous man won $39.7 million on a $100 wager at Palace Station in Las Vegas. He hit the IGT Megabucks jackpot after 15 minutes of play on March 25 at 10:15 pm. A local club member in his 40s took a $16.8 million lump sum, as one of the largest slot machine jackpot ever in history. A progressive jackpot had rolled over since a January 2002 win of $21.1 million in Reno. With 82.46% payout odds, he beat 49.9 million to 1 odds. His $100 investment yielded a 39,739X return, exemplifying how Megabucks slots exponentially change lives based on pure luck.

  • Name: Rachael Romanick
  • Place: Sparks, Nevada
  • Amount Won: $33 M. 

In 2009, Rachael Romanick won a $33.8 million Megabucks jackpot after 10 minutes of play at Terrible’s Rail City Casino. A 30-year-old Reno resident was an infrequent visitor but won the IGT prize on January 26 at 9:21 pm. It marked the casino’s first Megabucks jackpot in 16 years. Rachael took a $16.6 million lump sum. A progressive jackpot had been accumulating since September 2008. With 94.01% RTP, she beat 15.5 million to 1 odds. Her minimal investment yielded a 33,840X return, the biggest slot machine wins ever in Megabucks.

  • Name: Anonymous
  • Place: Palace Station, Las Vegas
  • Amount Won: $27.6 M. (1998)

In May 1998, a 67-year-old retired female flight attendant won a $27,580,739.28 jackpot on a Megabucks slot machine at Palace Station Casino in Las Vegas. Occurred at 8:15 pm on May 20. A regular casino visitor, she arrived with $100, then spent $200 more before hitting the jackpot with her last $100. A jackpot was won on the 300th spin, with Megabucks featuring a starting prize of $10 million. Opting for a lump sum payout, she received $11,784,470.77 after taxes. Overcoming odds of 15.3 million to 1, her $300 investment yielded a 92,000X return, owing to the game’s 94.98% return rate.

  • Name: Johanna Huendl
  • Place: Bally’s Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
  • Amount Won: $22.6 M. (2002)

Johanna Huendl, a retired printer from Covina, wagered $170 on a Megabucks slot machine at a Desert Inn Casino and won one of the biggest jackpots. At 74 years old, she won a staggering $22.6 million pot. She aspired to land a $3000 progressive prize when she placed her first $100 wager. After losing the first bill, she inserted another $100 into a machine and landed one the largest slot machine jackpot after spending $70. 

Australian media mogul Kerry Packer was known for his fearless gambling style and as casino biggest winner. He regularly engaged in high-stakes blackjack and roulette sessions, leaving casinos millions of dollars richer. Packer allegedly made between $20 Million and $40 Million in 1 night playing at casino MGM in Las Vegas and left dealer’s tips worth $1 Million. 

While not as significant as those mentioned above, some of the biggest gambling wins shocked people and have continued making waves. Let’s see some huge wins that ended up in tragedy, loss, or legal suits, as well as those that made history.

  • Name: Akio Kashiwagi
  • Place: Diamond Beach Casino, Darwin, Australia
  • Amount Won: $22 M. (1990)

Akio Kashiwagi, a renowned high roller, made a name with his audacious bets on baccarat. His legendary exploits included wagering millions of dollars in a single night. He is one of the online slots biggest winners wagered up to $200,000 in a single hand when playing baccarat.

  • Name: Archie Karas
  • Place: Las Vegas
  • Amount Won: Over $40,000,000 (1992-1995)

Archie Karas started with just $50 and transformed it into over $40 million through an astonishing series of high-stakes poker and dice games. A 62-year-old lost $40 Million while gambling in less than two years. It took him less than ten days to lose $20 Million while playing baccarat. In addition, he got arrested for gambling fraud for allegedly marking cards.

  • Name: Elmer Sherwin
  • Place: Excalibur Casino, Las Vegas
  • Amount Won: $4.6 M. (1989) and $21.1 M. (2005)

Elmer Sherwin hit a Megabucks jackpot not once but twice, with a 16-year gap between wins. First, he won in 1989, netting $4.6 million, followed by an even more astounding $21.1 million in 2005.  Although a player initially had a budget of $100 per week, he spent more. With an additional $20, he bagged the biggest slot win ever – a $4.6 Million jackpot at Mirage Hotel and Casino during their grand opening.

  • Name: Cynthia Brennan
  • Place: Desert Inn Paradise
  • Amount Won: $34,000,000 (2001)

A 38-year-old cocktail waitress hit one of the biggest slot machine jackpots while playing a Megabucks in January. After losing for eight rounds, the 9th yielded, making her a millionaire. Unfortunately, she was involved in an accident that killed her sister and left her paralyzed to never walk again two months later in March.

  • Name: Katrina Bookman
  • Place: Resorts World Casino, New York
  • Amount Won: $43,000,000

Katrina’s winning scenario is different from other cases since she never received the money. A player wagered 40 cents on a Sphinx Wild slot by IGT in 2016 and landed $43 Million. Unfortunately, an establishment claimed their machine had malfunctioned and offered her a consolation stake and some change ($2.25) for winnings. She declined and sued with no news of happy endings.

  • Name: Patricia De Mauro
  • Place: Borgata Casino & Spa
  • Amount Won: $1.5,000,000 (2009)

DeMauro experienced a record-breaking longest-winning streak while playing craps. It lasted for 258 minutes and had wagered $100. An event occurred in Atlantic City in 2009 and became a record and one of the biggest casino wins ever in 154 rounds. Although the total winnings weren’t disclosed, she must have received an estimated amount of around $1.5 Million. Borgata Casino launched an investigation into her betting activities, and even after finding her not guilty, they banned her from their establishment.

  • Name: Don Johnson
  • Place: Borgata, Caesars, and Tropicana Casinos, Atlantic City
  • Amount Won: $ 15.1,000,000 (2021)

Don made $15,000,000 in 6 months in 2021 playing blackjack in several casinos in Atlantic City. At first, Don made $1.2 Million in 3 hands. This player gambled through 3 casinos in the city: $4 Million at Caesars, $5 Million at Borgata, and $6 Million at Tropicana. Although Caesars banned him from their casino, he can still play at Borgata and Tropicana under different conditions.

  1. Hall of Gods Triumph – €7.6,000,000: An anonymous Finnish player struck gold on Hall of Gods, a Viking-themed online slot at Casumo. A player landed a €7.6 million payout in less than 24 hours after joining an online casino. A game had a 97.27% RTP, responsible for several massive wins.
  2. Absolutely Mega Jackpot – $23.6,000,000: A Belgian player won one of the largest slot machine jackpot ever in history on the Absolootly Mad Mega Moolah variation of this slot from Microgaming. It features 5 reels and 243 paylines, thus increasing players’ chances of winning. A player was playing at a Napoleon online casino in 2021 when he won one of the largest jackpots.
  3. Record-Breaking Mega Fortune – €17.8/ $23.6,000,000: A Finnish player tried his luck with a Mega Fortune progressive slot game by NetEnt and emerged victorious, securing a record-breaking $23.6 million jackpot. This win resulted from a 25 cents wager he had placed on, an online casino. 
  4. Mega Moolah Multi-Millionaire – £13.2,000,000: Jon Heywood’s decision to spin a Mega Moolah slot online at Betway casino landed a $20.8 million win. A player was a British soldier from Crewe and only placed bets worth $1.50, which turned him into a multi-millionaire in a 20 cent sin. 
  5. The Grand Win – $23.5,000,000: This British winner bagged a progressive jackpot playing a Mega Moolah slot at the Grand Mondial online casino. It took him less than 50 rounds and a bet of $0.07 on a winning spin. That online slots biggest win was shy of $100,000 for the biggest Mega Moolah jackpot prize.

The biggest slot machine jackpot and wins ever is a $38 Million jackpot on the Arabian Knights slot (find out in this review). With just $50, a Norwegian gambler, Archie Parker, hit a $38 Million jackpot in one night while playing in Las Vegas. His strategy was wagering medium stakes. As for online slots, another Norwegian gambler made $13.5 Million, one of the largest slot machine jackpots as he played an online Mega Moolah slot. This hit a record high as it was not linked to a jackpot.

Mega Moolah in 2020 had one of the biggest slot win ever platters. Mega Moolah online slot offers both mega jackpots and live progressive ones that increase with every spin. In addition, these winnings mentioned above were paid in a lump sum, unlike most online casinos. The 2020 jackpot platter was at a new high since 2018 when an anonymous player’s win at Grand Mondial online casino reached $18 Million.

  • The amount won:£70,000,000. 
  • Number of players: 9.
  • Jackpot Range:  £3-16,000,000.
  • Name: Gloria Mackenzie
  • Place: Wisconsin, Berlin
  • Amount Won: $590.5,000,000

The 84-year-old Gloria, another of the biggest casino jackpot winners, got a jackpot in 2013 after her son assisted her with buying a winning ticket. In addition, he got her a financial planner to assist with managing the huge amount of money. Unfortunately, according to Gloria, investments made less profit, so she sued her son and the financial planner. Winnings were reduced to around $250 Million after paying taxes on an original amount and $10 Million in damages as attorney fees. Gloria’s son requested a close to prevent further losses citing they had not mismanaged her money.

  • Name: Conor Murphy
  • Place: Kentucky
  • Amount Won: £1,000,000

In 2012 Conor became a millionaire after winning an accumulator on the 4 horses. He had purchased a ticket three months before from Bet365 and could have won up to £3 Million if the bookmaker’s amount didn’t cap. The 64,000-1 accumulator bet cost him only £50 and yielded during a Cheltenham festival. Conor later used his winnings to move to America, where he started his dream of being a trainer with his horses. This was one of the biggest win in casino history we found.

  • Name: Colin and Chris Weir
  • Place: UK
  • Amount Won: £161,000,000 (2011)

This couple won the National Lottery biggest casino jackpot in the UK in 2011, the biggest amount ever won until an Italian broke the record with a £193 Million. Sadly, they lost their 38-year-old marriage and unfortunately, Colin lost his life to a Sepsis a year after their divorce. It’s alleged that he had at least spent £40 Million by the time he passed. Besides buying limited edition luxury cars and houses, they sponsored a football club. Chris received her ex-husband’s house; most of his money went to his two kids.

  • As per the Public Gambling Act of 1867, all Indian states, except Goa, Daman and Sikkim, prohibit gambling
  • Land-based casinos are legalized, with certain guidelines, in Goa and Daman, as per the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act 1976
  • Land-based casinos, Online gambling and E-gaming (games of chance) are legalized in Sikkim under the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Rules 2009
  • Only some Indian states have legalized online/regular lotteries as per and subject to the conditions laid down by state laws. Kindly refer to the same here
  • Horse racing and betting on horse racing, including online betting, is permitted only in a licensed premise in select states. Kindly refer to the 1996 Judgement by the Supreme Court Of India here and for more information
  • This article does not endorse or express the views of Qrius and/or any of its staff.

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