Slot machine glitches saw big-buck winners get genied their prizes
At first glance, Pauline McKee, Katrina Bookman and Florida Ash don’t have anything in common. But they share the same passion for playing slot machines and, unfortunately, the same bad luck.
Mistakenly Programed Slot
Only few days after her trial got ended, Florida Ash decided to share her story.
Three years ago, she was playing a $5 slot machine when the top jackpot lined up saying she won $1 million. When she tried to collect the prize she got an explanation that the slot was mistakenly programed as a progressive slot and that her prize is actually a paltry $8,000.
The Mississippi State Gaming Commission ruled that Florida Ash was entitled to a $1 million prize but the issue was taken to Mississippi court last week and the decision was not upheld. Florida Ash was forced to settle for only $8,000 or to take further legal action and present the case to US Supreme Court.
Almost simultaneously, Katrina Bookman has reportedly taken legal action against a casino that refused to cash-in her winnings from last year, offering her a steak dinner instead.
The event took place at the Resort World Casino in Queens, New York last August. She was playing on the Sphinx Slot Machine when the enormous jackpot hit the screen. Thinking she hit it big, Katrina took a selfie in front of the screen and then went to claim her whopping prize of $42,949,672.76.
Imagine her surprise when a staff member told her that she actually hadn’t won due to machine malfunction and then escorted her from the premises. When they called her the next day and offered $2,25 and a steak dinner, she refused. At that time, the casino claimed that the staff together with the New York State Gaming Commission had found the machine to be malfunctioned.
Malfunction & Software Error
Anxious and depressed after the event, Ms Bookman will try her luck in Court. Her lawyer Alan Ripka told the US media she is entitled to a full amount displayed on the screen and that they were seeking damages from the casino for failing to maintain the slot machine.
Katrina said to the media: ‘You can’t claim a machine is broken because you want it to be broken. Does that mean it wasn’t inspected? Does it mean it wasn’t maintained?’
If Katrina Bookman wins, this cash jackpot would become the largest ever won on a gaming machine in US.
These two slot-related cases got us thinking about a 2011 case involving an 87-year old grandmother, Pauline McKee, who got denied a payout of $42m after a Miss Kitty slot machine showed a message saying she had won a bonus of that amount.
McKee sued to try to collect the prize after a state investigation concluded the bonus award showed on screen wasn’t valid and resulted from a software error. The casino paid McKee the $1.85 she was owed, and gave her a free hotel room that night, but she refused to make peace with it and went to the court.
The Iowa Supreme Court unfortunately ruled against her and she was left empty-handed.