Buggy slot machine reports $40M payout, woman gets $20

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

2400 Articles

By Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

2400 Articles

Article Featured Image
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Back in March, Louise Chavez placed a 40-cent wager at a slot machine at the Fortune Valley Casino in Central City, Colorado. When the wheels stopped spinning, the machine told her she’d won the jackpot:

People were coming up to me saying I won $42,000,000, or at least $42,000. Lights were flashing, it sounded like a fire truck, the screen said ‘see attendant.’

The casino claimed it was a glitch, returned the $23 she’d put into the machine, bought her breakfast, and comped her a free room for the night.

Now, per this story in IEEE Spectrum, the Colorado Gaming Division has completed its investigation and determined that the reported payout was, indeed, the result of a bug caused by “two Showcase Showdown awards occurring quickly after each other while the Grand Game bonus feature was already in play.” [Thanks, Glen!]