Biggest Slots Malfunctions in History

Imagine it. You’re sitting by a slot machine, playing the game, hoping to win a life changing million or two and boom, it happens!! You’re filled with excitement, disbelief, shock, exhilaration. You can’t believe it’s happening to you!!

…..and then someone is a uniform comes over and tells you that indeed, it isn’t happening, it’s a malfunction. OMG!!!

So how does a slot machine malfunction???

Slot machines are machines built by humans. Like all man made machines, they do not always behave the way they are programmed to behave. Malfunctions result in players believing they have won large jackpots. When the casino informs them that the machine malfunctioned and they haven’t won any prize, they find it hard to digest. Many players end up suing the casino, but with little or no success.

There are two types of slot malfunctions:

  • The machine displays that the jackpot has been won although the player did not land the jackpot winning combination of symbols.
  • Although the jackpot-winning combination is displayed at the end of a spin, this combination isn’t really what the computer selected at random.

We have many examples of life-changing winnings turning into nightmares. Some players win huge jackpots at casinos but do not receive any money because of malfunction.

Let us look at five heartbreaking examples of slot malfunctions that led players to believe that they had won huge life-changing jackpots only to be informed later that they couldn’t receive their winnings.

Katrina Bookman’s Case 

Katrina Bookman (44) was playing a slot machine at Resorts World Casino in Queens, New York when the machine displayed that she won a jackpot worth $42.9 million. She thought that it was her lucky day till the casino staff informed her that she would not receive the jackpot as the slot had malfunctioned. Instead, the casino sought to console her with a prize of $2.25 and a free steak dinner.

A furious Bookman refused both the dinner and the cash prize and decided to go to court. She hired Alan Ripka, a lawyer, to fight her case. The court is yet to deliver a verdict. According to Bookman, the house gave the excuse of slot malfunction because it did not want to pay her.

But Resorts World says that the win was the result of a malfunction. Bookman was playing a slot called “Sphinx,” which pays out a top jackpot of $6,500, which is just a fraction of the $42.9 million jackpot displayed on the screen.

Veronica Castillo’s Case 

Veronica Castillo actually ought to have won 210 coins on 21NAGA gambling slots . But the machine displayed a win of 171,787,374 credits, which comes up to $8.6 million.

Clearly, the slot had malfunctioned as its top payout was only $20,000. Considering the number of lines Castillo was playing and her bet amount, she couldn’t have possibly won more than $6000 on this machine.

Castillo, however, was shocked when the machine displayed a win of $8.5 million. Later, she reported that she just couldn’t believe it and was so excited that she had become a multi-millionaire. But the casino informed her that her win was the result of a malfunction.

Behar Merlaku’s Case

Although Merlaku landed just four of the five jackpot symbols he needed to win the jackpot, the machine displayed that he had won $58 million. Clearly, it was a programming error on the part of the machine.

The prize was not only more than the slot’s top payout, but also more than the maximum win of €2 million that the gaming laws of Austria permitted. But Merlaku was in a state of shock and refused to believe the casino staff. Instead, he decided to file a case against the casino.

Jerry Rape’s Case

Jerry Rape, a 55-year-old construction worker and Kim, his wife, were playing slots at Wind Creek Casino, Montgomery, when the machine displayed a win of $1.3 million. But the couple’s joy was short-lived when the casino staff informed them that the slot had malfunctioned. Devastated, Rape appointed a lawyer to fight against the casino.

Joe Pepitone’s Case 

Joe Pepitone, a butcher from Las Vegas, was delighted when the slot he was playing displayed a win of $463,895. But the machine’s coin acceptor was jammed, setting the slot into error mode and forcing it to spin in reverse to reset itself. As a result, the jackpot-winning combination of symbols appeared on the reels, but it wasn’t the combination the slot’s RNG had selected at random.

Pepitone refused to accept any explanation from the casino. Instead, he approached the gaming commission, which ruled in favour of the house. Refusing to admit defeat, Pepitone approached the district court, which also ruled against him. Finally, he approached the Nevada Supreme Court, which also took the casino’s side.

How to Avoid Disappointment

Slot malfunctions have disappointed several players who thought they had won life-changing prizes. The experience turned out to be a nightmare for players who refused to accept the casino’s explanation and insisted on receiving their winnings.

If you win a life-changing prize while playing slots, make sure that it isn’t the result of a programming error. Celebrate only after the house confirms your win.

Examining slot malfunction from a different angle, believing that you have won a prize that you haven’t really won can be a heartbreaking experience. But don’t let this stop you from trying!!

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