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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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A slot jackpot that was meant to be

23 May 2007

Being in the right place at the right time is everything a slot player needs to know about what it takes to hit the jackpot. Just ask Joanne Coventry, who nearly missed her calling at Harrah's Joliet Casino in early March of this year but still won an incredible $125,956.50 on a nickel machine.

The object of her affection on this particular outing was the progressive bank of 10 IGT nine-line/five-reel nickel machines, especially because the jackpot had grown to over $125,000, a handsome sum for a $2.25 max coin investment per spin.

"I had only played it once or twice on previous visits," Joanne revealed. "But for some reason I got up from where I was and sat down at the only machine in the progressive bank that was open. I really wanted to play the one at the end of the row. I put in a one hundred dollar bill and started playing, all the while keeping an eye on that end machine."

Joanne noticed the man playing it was getting ready to leave, so she hit what she thought was the "cash out" button to make a quick getaway, but it turned out she hit the one-coin-per-line play button by mistake.

"And would you believe it? I got into a bonus round on that spin," she lamented. "So I said to myself, 'Oh, darn it. Now I'm not going to get hardly anything'. But I got something like 500 credits. In the meantime, who comes along and sits down at that end machine but my husband, George. It was unbelievable!"

Joanne stayed put and went back to max coin play for her next spin. She watched the jackpot symbol pop up on the first reel, then the second followed by the third. Things began to get interesting on the fourth reel when it was there again, and lo and behold it appeared on the fifth reel, forming a "v" pattern on the display.

"When I saw the jackpots lining up I thought to myself, 'Oh, I sure hope I get something with this', but even when the fifth one came I didn't realize immediately that I had won because I thought they had to fall in a straight line. I yelled 'What did I get?' over to George. He said, 'You just won the jackpot!'"

Ironically, earlier in the evening Joanne had complained about the very slot she was destined to win on, commenting to her husband while playing nearby: "That's the most annoying machine because it makes so much (electronic) noise".

Had the jackpot shown up when she mistakenly hit the one coin per line button, she would have collected just $250. Therein lies a lesson for us all: Max coin play is a MUST on progressives, especially one of this scope (and value) for a $2.25 bet.

"I had been playing it for only about 10 minutes," she said. "I hadn't lost a dime during that time and as a matter of fact had $110 on the credit meter when I hit the jackpot."

It wasn't the first time Joanne struck slot machine gold.

"About 10 years ago I won a $10,000 jackpot on a Red, White & Blue sevens machine," she revealed. "The same week about three days later I hit another jackpot, this time for $7,000. I remember it especially because it was the week of my birthday."

Joanne and her husband make occasional trips to enjoy gaming experiences elsewhere around the country. Last February they stayed at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and next month they are looking forward to a getaway at Harrah's in New Orleans.

You can bet she'll be looking for that right place at the right time.

CASINO NEWS:

World Series of Blackjack returns for a fourth season on GSN (The Network for Games) starting Monday, June 4, at 10 pm (check local cable listings for channel). The 13-week competition will match players who qualified from officially sanctioned casinos across the country as well as super satellite tournaments at the Las Vegas Hilton, the host site for the championship competition. The field of 40 also features some celebrities, including magician/comedian Penn Jilette of Penn & Teller fame.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp