Viva Las Vegas – The Home of Casinos, Slot Machines and Mega Payouts
“Las Vegas if you come to town and don’t pull an arm, hold some cards, toss a dice, we have to ask if you really lived it up at all Las Vegas
The Las Vegas Strip
is famous for some of the world’s largest resort properties and casinos; and the gargantuan prize money on offer makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
‘The Strip’ holds fifteen of the world’s largest hotels with a total of 62,000 rooms, and most of the attractions and shows are located in the hotel casino properties themselves – with attractions such as Bellagio’s water fountains and Mirage’s famous volcano free for all to see.
Some may say Las Vegas was born with the Hoover Dam and the resulting population increase from five to twenty-five thousand (of mostly unattached male construction workers requiring large-scale entertainment).
Enter local business owners, Mormon financiers and mafia mobsters developing the casinos and showgirl theatres to keep these bored construction workers occupied.
Also, in 1931 Nevada State issued the first gambling license to the ‘Northern Club’, therefore creating a legal gambling industry to profit local businesses.
In the 1950s whilst ‘the Strip’ was booming, the US Atomic Energy Commission detonated the first of over 100 atmospheric explosions at their Nevada Test Site. Never ones to miss an opportunity, Las Vegas businesses advertised the explosions as tourist attractions and offered ‘Atomic Cocktails’ in rooms that provided a spectacular view of the mushroom clouds.
Las Vegas is home to some of the largest ever slot machine payouts; the odds of hitting a multi-million dollar jackpot on slot machines are almost impossibly long but many continue to chase the dream; in 2000 a Las Vegas waitress won $34,900,000 on a Megabucks slot machine and in 2014 a local punter playing another Megabucks machine for just 5 minutes hit a $14,282,544 jackpot.
This is incredible seeing as the best odds of this happening were calculated as 1 in 16.7 million.
Other very fortunate historical gambles include a retired Las Vegas flight assistant who in 1998 won $27,580,879.60 at ‘Palace Station’, and a business consultant who in 1999 deposited $10 on a Megabucks machine and on his first spin won $21,346,952.22.
A very fortunate 92 year-old has won the jackpot twice; firstly in 1989 and for a second time in 2005 – he always said it was his dream to win again. Some of us would be happy to win just the once!
Most recently luck arrived in August 2014 at the ‘MGM Grand’ for a New Hampshire couple winning $2.4 million on a Lion’s Share slot machine.
One young gambler from Kent was 32 when he decided to change his life for better or worse by selling all his worldly possessions and betting everything he owned on The Plaza Hotel and Casino’s roulette tables; the grand total of his possessions came to £76,840 ($135,300) which he would bet on a single spin.
As the wheel spun he put his chips on red and the ball came to rest on the number 7 slot (also red). He doubled his money and his winnings totalled $270,600.
The first famous roulette player, one Joseph Jagger, was a cotton mill engineer born in Yorkshire in 1830. Through his knowledge of engineering he believed that not all roulette wheels were completely random due to slight imperfections.
Jagger went to Monte Carlo where he and a group of six watched the wheels for anomalies when he noticed one in particular was biased towards certain numbers.
He placed bets and won for a number of consecutive days until the casino twigged something was wrong and moved the wheels around; again he found the uneven wheel and began to win again until the casino moved the dividers and Jagger counted his fortune and headed home!