What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas—unless you happen to win a huge cash payout while gambling. The odds that you’ll win $5.00 or $10.00 while playing the slot machines are quite good. The odds of hitting a multimillion-dollar jackpot at a Vegas casino—well, if you accomplish that, then we’ll be hitting the Vegas strip with you next time.
They may be rare, but mega-million jackpots in Vegas do happen. Most recently, in November 2014, a man turned $20.00 into $14.28 million when he hit the progressive jackpot playing a Megabucks slot machine at Rampart Casino. The Megabucks machine is linked to 157 casinos throughout Nevada.
If you’re hoping lightning strikes twice, you may want to visit the following casinos on your next trip to Las Vegas:
Top Las Vegas Payouts
5. Rampart Casino
The unidentified Vegas resident who won the cool $14.0 million at Rampart was visiting the casino with an out-of-town friend one day. The man played the Megabucks slot machine for all of five minutes before hitting the jackpot! The money, he said, would be donated to various charities and his church.
The 50,000-square-foot Rampart Casino1 is located in the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa. It boasts nearly 1,300 slots, video poker, and keno machines. The Summerlin Room High Limit area features games that range from $1.00 to $10.00 denominations and the 300-seat Bingo Room is conveniently located next to the Rampart Buffet. With 50 lush acres, JW Marriott Las Vegas is considered to be the first off-the-strip luxury resort in Las Vegas. The 548 guestrooms offer mountain, garden, city, or golf-course views, and are equipped with high-speed Internet access, rainfall showerheads, and jetted tubs.2
If that’s not enough, the JW Marriott has a day spa. Spa Aquae has 36 treatment rooms, an outdoor hydrotherapy circuit pool, a whirlpool, a steam room and sauna, a hot and cold plunge, and cascading waterfall showers. It also has a state-of-the-art fitness center and offers daily yoga sessions.3
Seventy-four-year-old Johanna Huendl was on her way to breakfast at Bally’s when she decided to take a seat at the Megabuck machine. She put in about $170.00 and won the jackpot. Initially she misread the machine and was overjoyed to see she would be taking home $2.0 million. But she was wrong; she won $22.62 million.4
Located on the Vegas strip, Bally’s Las Vegas features more than 2,800 extra-sized guestrooms (450 square feet each) and a number of penthouses ranging from 2,567 square feet to 3,425 square feet. Guests at Bally’s can also enjoy the 13,000-square-foot spa, salon, Olympic-sized pools with palm trees, private cabanas, and a whirlpool, fine dining, shows, and shopping.5 At 67,000 square feet, the casino at Bally’s has countless slot and video poker machines, more than 65 Las Vegas table games (casino blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, and pai gow), a poker room, a 24-hour Keno parlor, and a stadium-style race and sports book.
3. Palace Station
Did you know that one of the largest, progressive slot machine payouts in history happened at Palace Station? Back in 1998, a retired flight attendant fed $300.00 into a Megabucks machine and walked away with a staggering $27.5 million.
Located just a few minutes off Las Vegas Boulevard, Palace Station is known as the locals’ favorite place to stay and play! Palace Station has a 1,000-room hotel, fitness center, pool, and salon, along with bars, lounges, and fine dining.6
The Palace Station casino has more than 100,000 square feet of gaming space and the perfect mix of slots and table games.7 The casino has more than 1,600 slot/video poker machines, 45 table games (blackjack, pai gow poker, pai gow tiles, “Ultimate Texas Hold’em,” craps, roulette, and baccarat), a 307-seat bingo hall, a 20-seat keno lounge, and a 230-seat race and a sports book featuring 44 screens.
2. Wynn Las Vegas & Encore Resort
On January 26, 2000, Cynthia Jay-Brennan, a Las Vegas cocktail waitress, won $34.9 million after investing $27.00 on a Megabucks machine at the Desert Inn. Naturally, the casino set her up in one of its top suites and offered her champagne and caviar.8
Unfortunately, the Desert Inn suffered the fate of many of the older casinos in Las Vegas: it was imploded. Today, Wynn Las Vega and Encore Resort now sit on the land where Desert Inn once stood. If you’re superstitious, you might want to try the casino at Wynn or Encore.
Wynn Las Vegas is an iconic, curved high-rise on the Las Vegas Strip with 2,716 rooms ranging in size from 640 square feet to villas at 7,000 square feet. Together with the adjacent Encore Resort, the entire Wynn resort complex has a total of 4,750 rooms, making it the world’s sixth-largest hotel.9
Wynn Las Vegas has a 223,000-square-foot convention center, 76,000 square feet of retail space, a spa, a salon, a pool, and an 111,000-square-foot casino. If you like to golf, Wynn Resorts also has the only golf club on the Strip. The 18-hole, 7,193-yard, par-72 golf course was designed by world-famous architect Tom Fazio and resort owner Steve Wynn.
Encore Resort features a 2,034-room hotel that is ranked as one of the top 100 hotels in the world on the 2015 Gold List. Encore also has a 74,000-square-foot casino, 27,000 square feet of retail space, a spa and salon, five restaurants, seven bars, and a nightclub.
Back in March 2003, a 25-year-old software engineer from Las Angeles won $39.7 million after putting $100.00 in the Megabucks slot machine at Excalibur. The winner, who wished to remain anonymous, beat odds at the time of one in 16.7 million to take home the largest jackpot in Las Vegas history.10
Excalibur isn’t just a name—it’s a way of life. On the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, Excalibur is a Camelot-themed resort linked to neighbouring New York-New York and Tropicana resorts by overhead pedestrian bridges.11
The hotel has 4,008 rooms, ranging from contemporary to guest suites. Amenities include shopping, four luxurious pools (including one for guests 18 years of age and older), a 13,000-square-foot spa, a fitness center, and, of course, the Canterbury Wedding Chapel.
The 100,000-square-foot gaming area consists of both table games and over 1,400 slot machines, including the ever-popular Megabucks progressive jackpot slot machine. The casino also has a poker room, keno, and pari-mutuel betting.12
So, what happens if lightning does happen to strike twice and you win big?
RMS Is the Easiest, Fastest Way to Get Your Money Back!
In the United States, winnings of more than $1,200 from slots (or other forms of gambling, including poker, pari-mutuel, and sports betting) are considered taxable income and are subject to a 30% withholding tax. If you win $2,500 on the slots in Las Vegas, you’ll walk out with just $1,750. The IRS gets to keep the rest.
If you’ve been to Las Vegas and had 30% of your gambling winnings withheld by the IRS, Refund Management Services (RMS) can help you reclaim a portion or all of your taxable winnings.
Founded by a Canadian Chartered Accountant in 1998, RMS is the most reliable and experienced gaming and casino tax refund provider for non-U.S. residents. Only RMS has the One Simple StepTM process; our Customer Service Agents take care of the rest. Your refund cheque gets mailed out to you as soon as your refund is approved. We’ve never been refused an eligible refund. Contact us today!
1. “Where the Locals Play in Summerlin,” Rampart Casino at The Resort at Summerlin web site; https://www.theresortatsummerlin.com/gaming/index.php, last accessed May 1, 2015.
2. JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa web site; http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/lasjw-jw-marriott-las-vegas-resort-and-spa/, last accessed May 1, 2015.
3. Spa Aquae web site; http://spaaquaelv.com/, last accessed May 1, 2015.
4. “$22.6 Million Megabucks Hits at Bally’s Las Vegas,” IGT web site; http://www.igt.com/company-information/news-room/news-releases?NewsID=650269,
last accessed May 1, 2015.
5. Caesars web site; https://www.caesars.com/ballys-las-vegas, last accessed May 1, 2015.
6. Palace Station web site; https://palacestation.sclv.com/, last accessed May 1, 2015.
7. “Boarding Pass Players Club,” Palace Station web site; https://palacestation.sclv.com/Gaming.aspx, last accessed May 1, 2015.
8. Macy, R., “Woman plays $27, wins $34.9 million,” Las Vegas Sun web site, January 27, 2000; http://lasvegassun.com/news/2000/jan/27/woman-plays-27-wins-349-million/.
9. Wynn Las Vegas web site; http://wynnlasvegas.com/, last accessed May 1, 2015.
10. Norman, R.J., “Record jackpot claimed by Calif. engineer,” Las Vegas Sun web site, March 4, 2003; http://lasvegassun.com/news/2003/mar/24/record-jackpot-claimed-by-calif-engineer/?history.
11. Excalibur web site; http://www.excalibur.com/, last accessed May 1, 2015.
12. Excalibur casino web site; http://www.excalibur.com/casino/, last accessed May 1, 2015.