Call it chance or recklessness, or even a combo of both, however a few people risk large sums of money on the off chance of an enormous win. And it does happen, with some paydays so ridiculously enormous they’re life changing, turning ordinary people into millionaires in a matter of hours.
Some of the luckiest casino wins of all time have occurred to ordinary folks, many of them down in their luck. But luck always has a way of surprising everybody, although higher payouts do often come in the bigger stakes.
Here are 12 tales about some of the biggest casino winners of all time.
Significant casino winnerArchie Karas — Poker and Craps
Called the”king of the casinos,” Archie Karas famously turned $50 into $40 million. Karas was employed as a waiter before he learned about pool hustling, in which he gathered serious riches — to the tune of $1 million. Never afraid of losing, he would wager, in one throw of the dice, exactly what many gamblers may earn in a life. While playing high-stakes card matches in Los Angeles, he won plenty of cash and was likewise completely broke on numerous occasions.
It was in December 1992 that Archie started what many consider the best hot series at the history of gaming. He’d just lost $2 million during an Los Angeles high-stakes poker game, so he only had $50 to spare. Nevertheless, it was he had to start winning big.
Karas began in Binion’s Horseshoe casino at which a buddy seen him $10,000 to play with Razz, a game where the lowest hand wins. He went head-to-head with 15 of the world’s greatest poker players, including Stu Unger, Chip Reese, Johnny Chan and Puggy Pearson. He won countless poker before winning tens of thousands more at craps, finally coming into ownership of their Horsehoe’s $5,000 processors — worth $11 million. From the time his encounter finished, he had won $17 million playing craps and poker at the Horseshoe. Incidentally, he managed to repay the $10,000 loan using 50% interest.
His winning streak continued for over two decades, until he’d gathered $40 million. He was able to turn $17 million into $17 million by besting a few of the very best poker players in Vegas at seven-card stud. He also earned over a million dollars playing nine-ball pool. Even the occasional losing streak wasn’t enough to prevent him from winning a lot more than he lost.
His winning series, however, did eventually come to a conclusion on a three-week period in 1995, where he dropped $11 million playing matches. He also lost $17 million at baccarat and another $2 million at poker. He soon lost the remainder of the $40 million — although he was eventually able to borrow $40,000 to win back $1 million.
Archie’s luck could have ran out in spectacular fashion, but his incredible winning streak stays the stuff of legend, and it is evidence that anything is possible in gaming.
Elmer Sherwin — Megabucks Slots
In 1989, a guy won $4.6 million on a Megabucks slot machine in the Cannery Casino & Hotel in Vegas. His name was Elmer Sherwin, and he beat the odds, not once but twice, on the same slot machine. Some people consider machines that are certain lucky. After Sherwin won his $4.6 millionhe continued playing the identical machine until he finally won $2.1 million in 2005 at the age of 92, despite the odds of winning being projected at one in fifty million.
Sherwin said he was a fan of Megabucks for a long time. He believed it would pay off eventually, which belief sustained him for years until his next win supported his instincts. It took 16 years enjoying the slot machine to replicate his original feat.
Sherwin’s first win came on the casino’s opening night, leading to speculation about how big wins occur on opening nights. However, as everybody attempts to explain what cannot be explained, a mythology arises. People may wonder how you can replicate Sherwin’s feat of superhuman luck, but so far, he remains the big winner — double over.
There are other large winners of Megabucks slots, including a retired flight attendant who risked $300 in 1998 and won $27.5 million. Such wins may be infrequent, but they do occur from time to time.
WinnerPeter — Online Slots
The honour of winning the largest online gambling payout belongs to a Norwegian gambler by the name of Peter. It may not be his actual name, but this isn’t what’s important. What’s that he turned into an online casino winner by playing with a progressive jackpot slot called Arabian Knights — and it was the fruit slot machine which made his surprise win potential. His winning series netted him 11.7 million Euros, which translated to 38 million Norwegian Krone.
Peter played at the Betsson online casino that features the slogan,”Anything could happen.” Peter may have taken that to heart, and it was a fantastic thing he did.
Mike Ashley – Roulette
Mike Ashley, multi-billionaire owner of the Newcastle United Football Club, was famous when he gained 1.6 million pounds in the span of three hours in a roulette table at a London casino. His lucky number was 17, and his method of gambling focused on each potential combination of that number. As fortune would have it, the roulette ball dropped to the 17 slot, turning his initial 480,000 pounds to three times that sum. Ashley recovered his winnings and called it a day.
The odds of hitting 17 were high. But Ashley has to have understood that a fortunate number rarely strikes twice in a row. Then again, stranger things have happened. Although in 2011, Ashley lost one million pounds in the span of two hours. Easy come, easy go.
Sean Connery – Roulette
Sean Connery, aka super spy James Bond, also had enormous luck betting on the number 17. While at a casino in the Italian Alps, in true Bond style, Connery put his money 17. He missed the first two times, but on the third spin, the ball found 17. Leaving there, the croupier spun the wheel. Surprisingly, the ball found the 17 slot again. What may have been more surprising, or perhaps mad, was the simple fact that Connery once more left his winnings in place. Miraculously, the 17 came up a third time in a row, against odds of 50,000 to 1.
In Bond style, Connery coolly collected his winnings of 10,000 lbs, which in the modern market might well be worth 163,000 lbs.
Curiously, there was a time when”17″ was one of the most commonly played amounts in roulette. Not only did Connery win big over the number 17 in 1963, but he did exactly the exact same in the 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever.
Even though some have won fortunes on the number 17, it does not mean that the rest of us will probably have the exact same good fortune with this number. If we have blessed numbers, the challenge is in figuring them out, and they do not always arrive neatly wrapped in fortune cookies.
rouletteCharlie Wells – Roulette
In 1891, Charlie Wells netted $1 million following enjoying roulette for 11 straight hours. He was the guy who literally”broke the bank at Monte Carlo,” inspiring a famed music hall tune by Fred Gilbert. Breaking the lender supposed winning more chips than are available on the table, and Wells did this not once, but 12 days in the course of the evening.
It ends up Charlie Wells has been a famed confidence trickster. After creating a gain from a fraudulent creation known as the”musical jumping rope,” Wells chose to try his luck at Monte Carlo. His game of choice was roulette, and it was in the roulette table that Wells took 4,000 francs in processors and turned them into a thousand francs, winning 23 out of 30 successive spins at a single point. After winning a million francs, he came back to the identical casino a year later and won a second million francs over the course of three days.
In today’s dollars, his one million francs could be worth over $20 million.
Luck wasn’t always so kind to Wells, however, and after collecting more money from people who’d spent in a fuel-saving apparatus he invented for steam boats, he dropped everything at gaming. He spent eleven years in prison in England for fraud and five years in a French prison before he passed away in 1922, penniless.
Money stems, and cash goes, and for guys like Charlie Wells, it was all a part of life’s adventure.
William Darnborough – Roulette
William Darnborough hailed from Illinois when he played with blackjack in a Monte Carlo casino, winning half a million dollars over the span of seven years between 1904 and 1911 — that might be a staggering amount in the present market. He had become a professional gambler by playing blackjack at the U.S. at illegal casinos operated inside saloons. It was said he had been a wheel-watcher who might anticipate where the ball could land.
Unlike Wells, however, Darnborough quit playing while he was ahead, marrying into nobility and maintaining his fortune.
Don Johnson – Blackjack
Gambler Don Johnson had a technique when it came to blackjack. He negotiated rules to give himself an advantage, like splitting a favorable hand into four individual hands. He also picked dealers who ceased drawing cards when a hand equaled 17, raising Johnson’s chances of getting a better hand. Whenever he could, he would double his wager.
Fortunately for Johnson, some casinos provide high-rollers 10 percentage paybacks, meaning that he can keep an entire win while still keeping money after a loss. By also negotiating the right to bet around $25,000 per hand, he was able to multiply his own winnings a lot more quickly.
Though Johnson relied on chance as far as anyone else, his usage of these principles left to chance and more to plan, making him $15 million in three casinos in half a year.
Poker tournament Antonio Esfandiari — Poker Tournament
Already effective as a poker pro, Antonio Esfandiari risked a great deal of money in a 2012 WSOP charity poker event — $1 million to be exact. In so doing, he took home the largest purse in poker history with a total of $18,346,673. Despite 11 percent of the winnings going to charity, Esfandiari netted a staggering fortune.
The triumph brought Esfandiari’s total tournament winnings into $23,245,838, which is the most any player won in poker tournament history.
Ashley Revell — Roulette
Approximately 2003, Ashley Revell sold his house and belongings in London and left for Vegas with approximately $135,000. Revell risked it all by putting it on reddish on a roulette wheel in the Plaza Casino in downtown Vegas. He immediately kicked his cash and left.
Although Revell wasn’t a gambler, he also assumed a huge risk and won large. He now owns iGaming Recruitment that helps staff gambling businesses.
Kerry Packer — Blackjack and Baccarat
Billionaire Kerry Packer could afford to place huge bets. During a 1995 trip to the MGM Grand in Vegas, he won between $20 and $40 million at blackjack and baccarat. Allegedly, Packer played around eight hands simultaneously on multiple tables, betting around $250,000 per hand. Forty minutes after his first wager, he’d won $25 million, completing $20 million ahead of where he started.
Lady Luck favorite Packer on quite a few other occasions from 2010 through 2011. A $5.8 million triumph in the Tropicana Casino took under 12 hours. In addition, he won millions over a number of nights at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
But, his luck turned a couple of decades later when he lost $28 million in a London casino.
Patricia Demauro – Craps
With its many gambling options, craps provides players a chance of winning big or losing large. For Patricia Demauro, luck was on her side. She had only played once before, so when she arrived at the craps table at the Borgata in Atlantic City, she could not have been hoping to win 154 consecutive cries in the span of 4 hours and 18 minutes. Though she never disclosed her winnings, she purchased in for a mere $10 and could have won hundreds of thousands of dollars with traditional stakes. If she were putting expert bets, winnings may have been in the millions.
It should be said that the likelihood of her achievement were in 1.56 trillion, and yet it occurred in a unbelievable night.
Lady Luck
There are actually huge casino payouts all the time. For instance, an anonymous guy waiting for a basketball game in the Excalibur Casino won $39 million bucks. A woman visiting Vegas from Hawaii played the same slot machine for three hours with less than $100 before winning close to $9 million. Another woman won $680 on a Wheel of Fortune machine in the Palace Station Hotel, after to win $27 million at a Megabucks jackpot. Who says you win ever has to be enough?
A Former owner of this Golden Nugget composed of a video game programmer named Mr. Royalty who walked with close to $5 million, only to come back a week later to win an additional $1.5 million.
There is even a story of a homeless guy who cashed a $400 social safety test and turned it into about $1.5 million at the Treasure Island casino. Individuals who observed the guy considered him the rudest and luckiest player they’d ever seen. Sad to say, the guy later lost it all before being kicked out.
Wish to find out if luck is on your side? Come visit Dover Downs Hotel & Casino! If you play smart and thoughtfully, you never know what could happen.

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