Megabucks – Because if Don’t Dream Big in Vegas, You May as Well Go Home
It is the rare Vegas visitor who can walk through the casino and not drop at least a buck into a slot machine. There is an allure with these solitary games, an allure of sitting in the right chair at the right time and going home richer than is right. In March, a 78-year-old woman won close to $11 mil on a Megabucks machine at the Westgate, proving once again that big dreams can come true in Vegas.
What is Megabucks?
There is a lot more to choosing a slot machine than which one has the theme you like. A classic slot machine will have a bunch of different symbols depending on the theme which need to line up a certain way for you to win. How they line up and the amount you play will determine how much you win, and that amount never changes. This is what a Vegas-ite calls a flat-top machine.
Then you have your progressive slot machines, where the grand prize payout grows the more it is played. Wheel of Fortune and Megabucks both work this way. For every dollar played, a portion goes towards making the jackpot higher. And to make things even more interesting, the Megabucks machines are linked across casinos, so that guy playing Megabucks at Bally’s is contributing to the jackpot at the machine in Caesar’s and vice versa. No matter which casino you are enticed into dropping dough on Megabucks, the jackpot is going to be the same.
And the Megabucks Jackpot Can Be Huge
The largest Megabucks payout in history (so far anyway) happened over 12 years ago at the Excalibur. With a hundred buck investment, a 25 year-old software geek engineer walked away with $39.7 million. That’s a heck of a return on his investment. Now to put just a small pin in the bubble, these payouts are made over the course of 25 years, and of course only after Uncle Sam gets his cut. Still, that’s a lot of clams to fill up your bank account.
Now there is also a teeny tiny catch that will make a huge difference. The only way you get to take home that jackpot is if you play a $3 spin. Anything lower and it makes no difference how perfectly the figures line up, you miss out on that big jackpot, and that’s gonna’ hurt.
What are the Odds of Hitting the Megabucks Jackpot?
Now casinos are not keen on giving out that sort of top secret information, but if you do the math yourself and calculate the 368 possible stops that each reel has, you will find that the odds of a jackpot are 1 in 50 million. And no, that does not mean that if you are the 50 millionth person to play, you are going to win. The odds on a slot machine start from ground zero every time a person loses.
We (bitterly) congratulate those few who have beat the odds and gone home with some mega bucks, and wish we knew at least one of them personally. As for the rest of you, if you do feel that urge to try out a slot machine, save your three luckiest dollars and go for the Megabucks.
Read more about hitting it big and spending even bigger!