It all starts like any other evening.
Coming home after a long day at work, you decide to fire up your computer and let off some steam by playing on your favourite progressive jackpot slot. Betting your usual amount of $0.30 per spin, you make a few bucks and consider calling it a night when all of a sudden, your life changes for good.
Transported to a series of concentric prize wheels you begin to consider the realistic prospect of making a nice bit of bonus cash, but before you’ve even had time to fully process what’s happening, you find yourself on the innermost wheel and one spin away from earning a seven-figure jackpot.
“These things are set up so no one ever wins the top prize,” you scoff to yourself as the wheel slowly grinds to a halt, but before the words have even left your mouth a winning ditty has started up and a very large number is now spreading its way across your screen. Convinced that you’re now starring in a hidden camera TV show, it’s not until the phone rings that you finally accept what’s happened...
Real People, Real Stories
While it may sound too good to be true, the fact is that this exact scenario happens at major online casinos every year; and probably more often than you might think. Thanks to the proliferation of network progressive jackpot titles – essentially games that share an ever-increasing communal prize pool across all the casinos they feature in – these life-changing payouts are closer than you think.
Take a look at the boxout below. All of the prizes featured are documented payouts that have occurred at legitimate online casinos, with some even gaining notoriety after being recognised as a Guinness World Record. As you can see, all 10 winners earned their prizes playing online slot machines, which are by far the most widely-enjoyed casino games regardless of age, sex or location.
Although the amounts may differ, there’s no denying that any one of these payouts would be enough to set you up for life, allowing you to do things that you never imagined would be possible. Take the story of current Guinness World Record holder, Jon Heywood, for instance. A 26-year-old British soldier, Mr Heywood won his €17,879,645 prize for just £0.25 playing Microgaming’s Mega Moolah slot on Betway.com and vowed to use some of the cash to pay for his father’s hospital bills.
“The first thing I will spend it on is the best possible medical treatment for my dad,” Mr Heywood told the Daily Mirror, explaining his father was awaiting a heart and lung transplant. “That’s more important than anything. Family comes first and I’d give this money back to have him healthy again.”
The 10 Biggest Jackpots Of All Time
|1||Mega Moolah||Microgaming||10/2015||Jon Heywood (UK)||€17,879,645|
|2||Mega Fortune||NetEnt||1/2013||Anonymous (Finland)||€17,861,800|
|3||Mega Fortune||NetEnt||9/2011||Anonymous (Norway)||€11,737,375|
|4||Hall of Gods||NetEnt||2/2012||Anonymous (Sweden)||€7,674,233|
|5||Dark Knight||Microgaming||12/2012||John Orchard (UK)||€7,616,422|
|6||Hall of Gods||NetEnt||10/2013||Anonymous (UK)||€6,991,179|
|7||Mega Moolah||Microgaming||4/2016||Anonymous (Unknown)||€6,905,670|
|8||Mega Moolah||Microgaming||3/2009||Georgios M. (Greece)||€6,367,185|
|9||Gold Rally||Playtech||12/2013||Anonymous (Unknown)||€6,347,118|
|10||Mega Moolah||Microgaming||4/2008||Klaus E. (Finland)||€4,929,817|
Chasing The Dream
Needless to say, Mr Heywood did not have to give any of his eight-figure prize back, allowing him to pay for his dad’s surgery, take his family on a Mediterranean cruise and even splurge some of it on himself by purchasing a yellow Bentley Continental GT. It was a story that drew a number of parallels with that of fellow UK citizen, John Orchard, who had gotten similarly lucky a few years previously.
Having also earned a life-changing payday on a Microgaming slot, Mr Orchard had only been playing on the Butler Bingo website for a couple of days when a £0.30 spin on the Batman-themed Dark Knight bagged him €7,616,422. Speaking to The Sun, the 60-year-old JobCentre worker explained: “I just couldn’t believe I’d won it. This will change my life completely and Christmas is going to be a blinder this year – I had planned to buy my daughter a new iPad; now I can buy her a new house!”
Although certainly one of the most prolific providers when it comes to issuing multi-million prize payouts, Microgaming is not the only company currently hosting a range of progressive jackpot titles. Over at NetEnt, the Mega Fortune and Hall of Gods jackpots account for three of the top five largest prizes ever awarded online – and though their winners have understandably chosen to remain anonymous, the sums of money involved in each were enough to purchase a private island.
Of course, if such a vast cross-section of players from different backgrounds, nationalities and age ranges can all win these huge jackpot payouts for less than the cost of using a public restroom, there’s no reason why you can’t chase this clearly-not-so-impossible dream too; and don’t think for a second that just because a progressive jackpot payout has been awarded recently, another one won’t come around for awhile – in 2013, the Mega Moolah jackpot was hit a staggering six times!
Jackpot Winners Fun Facts
|1||Mega Moolah has consistently awarded the most prize money, with five entries among the current top 10 (Dark Knight also links to the Mega Moolah progressive prize pool)|
|2||Beyond Mega Moolah’s dominance, the top 10 payouts in online slot history are more or less a 50/50 split between Microgaming and NetEnt, with only one Playtech entry|
|3||Of the 10 biggest prize winners of all-time, over half wished to remain anonymous, suggesting most newly-minted millionaires prefer to enjoy their fortunes discretely|
|4||Despite being famed for their reserved character, winners from the UK are far more likely to reveal their identity, with two of the three known jackpot winners sharing their names|
|5||This comes in stark contrast to Scandinavia, however, which boasts four known winners in the current top 10, with no one revealing their full name and only one sharing any details|