The gaming business calls it "life changing money" -- a slot machine jackpot that pays out like a decent statewide lottery win.
That's what happened at Downstream Casino Resort late Saturday night when a lucky player struck a $2.6 million jackpot on a 1-cent Avatar (IGT) machine betting the max amount of $3.
"That's just fun to see, it's exciting for all of us to be part of something like that," said Downstream Director of Gaming Robert Moritz. "It is a record win for Downstream and a record for the whole region."
The Downstream guest, who requested anonymity, initially sat in disbelief and wondered if he had won 2.6 million pennies. When he realized he had won $2,645,455.32 he was overjoyed but confused about how to react. Although he has no immediate plans for his winnings, he looks forward to living his life with less financial stress and pressures in the future.
Obviously it pays to play at Downstream.
"He was in shock, I think, and he said it was just unreal as if he was dreaming," said Joel Strawther, a Downstream slot attendant who was on the scene. "He just sat there trying to get his mind around what had just happened."
The Avatar machine, a theme based on the James Cameron movie of the same name, was part of a "MegaJackpots" wide-area-progressive format, which means it is tied in with numerous other Avatar machines in other casinos from around the country. So big jackpots build up rather quickly. They are popular among casino guests. Downstream had a similar jackpot win about three years ago on one of its wide-area-progressive Wheel Of Fortune machines. That win paid $1.3 million, and was Downstream's record jackpot prior to Saturday's colossal moment.
The world record jackpot win is $39 million, according to game manufacturer IGT.