…stays in Vegas…including Jackpot winnings!
This past March, I went to Vegas for my friend’s 25th Birthday celebration. And…I hit the jackpot.
Well…not the jackpot jackpot, but let me just tell you the story…
So it was the first night of our 3-night weekend in Sin City. It was my first time really visiting Las Vegas (I had been there for a layover in the Las Vegas airport once when I was like 10, but that doesn’t count!) My friends and I had just dropped our things off in the hotel room and decided to head downstairs to check out our hotel’s casino (we were staying at this hotel, the Luxor…fancy huh?).
Two of my friends had arrived a few hours before me and the birthday girl so they had already tried their luck a few times with the various slot machines the hotel had to offer, but there was one that caught my eye as we were making our rounds. It was this really huge slot machine with a big slot handle…like this chick:
Actually, it was slightly smaller than this machine shown below, but this should give you a pretty good idea of why I was so drawn to it (and no, that’s not me in the picture!):
Anyway, the slot handle attracted me and I had to pull it (…get your mind out of the gutter!). So I told my friends I was going over to the big machine while they were putting a few singles in the smaller machines we were talking near. I walked over and took out the first $5 of my $50 gambling budget (yes, I had a gambling budget; who goes to Las Vegas without a gambling budget???) and neatly fed it to the machine. I pulled the handle and watched the pretty lights and big numbers spin (easily amused much?).
The first symbol to land was some random blue logo that was something the hotel used in their machines (not the typical “cherry” “7″ “$”, etc.).
The second symbol to land was the same random blue logo.
In the next few milliseconds, as the 3rd wheel came to a stop, I wondered what would happen if I got 3 in a row!
The 3rd symbol was NOT the random blue logo. BOOOOO!
I didn’t get 3 symbols in a row, but the pull was pretty satisfying and I was ready to just cash out on my remaining $4 and move on…but the little red numbers started counting upwards.
They finally stopped at 324 points. That couldn’t possibly mean $300, right??? I tried to quickly analyze what a “point” meant. When I first put in the $5, did I start with 500 points…or only 5 points? Did a point=$.01 or $1??? I couldn’t remember!
I stared at the machine puzzled for about 2 seconds before I decided it would just be safer to cash it out and figure it out when the little ticket stub told me exactly how much my “winnings” were worth.
I hit the “cash out” button, but nothing happened.
I hit it again…nothing.
OUT OF ORDER???
I started to look around and there happened to be a security/help booth right next to the machine (literally 5 feet away). A heavy set black woman was at the desk with some other worker and we made eye contact – she looked at me and said, “What’s wrong? The machine’s broken again?”
I said, “Again? This machine is broken???”
She said, “Well they keep fixing it, but it’s been happening a lot lately, how much did you put in?”
“Five dollars, and it says I have 324 points.”
“Three hundred points??? That’s 300 dollars, girl! You’re a winner! Let me call security and they’ll fix it for you and give you your money, just stand right there! Don’t go anywhere!”
She didn’t have to tell me twice!
She pulled a phone from the desk and dialed someone, said a few words, and hung up, “He’ll be right over. How long you visiting?”
“It’s my first night here, this was my first $5!”
“Wow! Well, you gotta buy us a round of cocktails, honey!”
I just chuckled like…mmm hmmm she must not know who I am…she’s talkin’ to Dolla Thug.
By this point, my friends had begun to notice I’d been standing at the machine for a good 5 minutes and were waving at me to come back over to them, they had been oblivious to what was going on and I could hear them laughing and I even heard my friend say, “What is Ana doing over there???”
I just shook my head and held up one finger signaling that I’d be a minute or so. They started walking over to see what was taking me so long.
Luckily the maintenance guy showed up and asked me, “You were using this machine? You wanted to cash out?”
I shook my head “yes” and more “yes”.
He tried the “cash out” button himself and looked at the machine and said, “Well, it looks like the machine owes you $324.00. Hold out your hands please, I’m going to give you cash.”
I raised my eyebrows and obliged. I couldn’t believe what was happening! He dropped three crisp one-hundred dollar bills in my hands. Followed by a twenty dollar bill and four ones.
I said, “Thank you.” Told the security lady, “Thank you.” And walked over to my friends as I put the fresh money securely in my wallet.
I was a little in shock. Eyebrows still raised, I reported to my friends (who had witnessed the man put money in my palms), “I just won $324 dollars!”
“What???? Are you serious!?!”
“You won $300!??”
“OMG – how? That was your first machine! We’ve been here all day and I haven’t won shit!”
I just shook my head and replied, “I don’t know…I just wanted to pull that slot machine…so I did…and then I won! I even broke the machine!” I pointed to the maintenance man as he closed back up the machine and announced, “All fixed!”
After hearing the machine was fixed, my friends then proceeded to walk over and try the same machine even though I told them I’d already used that one up, they gotta go somewhere else for some fresh luck! Sure enough, they ignored my newfound wisdom and each took a turn putting in their money (whether it was a one, a five, or a ten) and they all walked back over empty-handed.
I was still in shock. Yes, I had just won $300! On my first slot machine in Las Vegas??? Now, $300 isn’t that much money, not life-changing by any means, but it was enough to raise my eyebrows and put a big smile on my face for the next 3 days!
Have you ever won $100 or more on gambling or lottery scratch-offs or some other raffle? How did you feel when it happened? What did you do with the money?
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article where I write about how I ended up spending my winnings and some of the pitfalls of Sin City gambling…
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