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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Setting the Record Straight on Progressive Slots

14 June 1999

There's a certain mystical aura associated with slot machine play. This mystery, in turn, serves to perpetuate the myths and superstitions that continue to be connected with doing battle with the infamous "one-armed bandits."

One such rumor about Megabucks that surfaced recently was that there was a jackpot "signal" that was sent through the system by the powers that be every 29 days. If the jackpot combination is locked in by a lucky player at the time the "signal" is sent through, the bells start sounding to herald a new winner. If not, oh well, just wait until the signal is sent through the system again.

WRONG!

There's not a bit of truth associated with the above explanation of how the Megabucks jackpot is won. It is contrary to the random nature of slot play, to begin with, and furthermore, how unfair it would be to think the Megabucks jackpot is vulnerable only once every 29 days! The game would hardly be worth playing.

To set the record straight, I sought out an official with International Game Technology of Reno, Nevada, and was put in touch with Rick Sorensen of the public relations department, who said:

"As is the case with all slot play, even progressives, each machine determines the outcome of the game. The outcome (awarding the jackpot) is not done through the system. There is no so-called 'signal'. It is totally a random event. To illustrate this point, on one occasion the jackpot was awarded twice in the same week."

There you have it. The individual computer chips that govern the play of each slot machine on the floor are responsible for the outcome of Megabucks. The winning of the jackpot is a random event that can happen anytime.

If you're a slot player, be a smart one. Know what you're up against, learn as much as you can about slot machines, and throw myth and superstition out the window. In reality, when you play a slot you're playing against a computer program that's guaranteed to make money for the casino it's located in.

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