A slots player is contemplating a lawsuit after her $42.9m jackpot was determined to be the result of a software glitch.
On Friday, New York TV station WABC reported on the sad case of Katrina Bookman (pictured), who in late August believed she’d struck it rich when the slot machine she was playing at Genting’s Resorts World Casino New York said she’d won nearly $43m.
Following a few moments of giddy celebration, Bookman said she was escorted off the floor by casino staff, then told she needed to come back tomorrow to meet with casino officials. When she returned, she was told the machine had malfunctioned and thus she was owed nothing, although the casino offered to comp her a steak dinner.
Clearly, something wasn’t right in Denmark, as the Spielo-manufactured Sphinx Wild slot offers a maximum payout of only $6,500, not the $42,949,672.76 that it displayed at the time of Bookman’s all too brief moment of glory. And the casino’s policy is spelled out right on the machine: “malfunction voids all pays and plays.”
Bookman said that if the casino isn’t willing to pay her millions, the least they could do is offer her the maximum $6,500 “and then I can buy them a steak dinner.” But the casino isn’t budging and the casino’s stance was supported by New York State Gaming Commission. Bookman is contemplating filing a lawsuit.
Bookman is the latest in a long line of slots players who’ve been given false hope that their life of drudgery is now a distant memory. In 2014, a slots player at the Blue Chip Casino in Indiana thought she’d won $29m, only to end up the recipient of … you guessed it: a free steak dinner.
Some faux winners are luckier than others. In 2011, Behar Merlaku believed he’d won €43m from a slot machine at the Casino Bregenz in Austria, only to be informed it was a glitch and offered the apparently global industry standard free meal. But Merlaku sued and eventually settled out of court for €1m.
In 2009, Vietnamese-American Ly Sam celebrated what he thought was a $55m win at the Sheraton Saigon Hotel’s Palazzo Club despite the machine having a max payout of $46k. When the casino refused to pay, Sam sued and somehow won his case in 2013. But one year later the verdict was cancelled at the request of both parties, who settled out of court for an undisclosed sum, presumably after negotiations over a nice steak dinner.