Call it chance or recklessness, or even a combination of both, but a few people risk large amounts of money on the off chance of an enormous win. And it does happen, with some paydays so ridiculously huge they’re life changing, turning ordinary people into millionaires in a matter of hours.
A number of the luckiest casino wins of all time have occurred to ordinary folks, many of them down in their luck. But fortune always has a way of surprising everybody, although higher payouts do often come from the larger stakes.
Here are 12 tales about a few of the greatest casino winners of all time.
Significant casino winnerArchie Karas — Poker and Craps
Known as the“king of the casinos,“ Archie Karas famously turned $50 to $40 million. Karas worked as a waiter before he learned about swimming hustling, where he gathered serious wealth — to the tune of about $ 1 million. Never scared of losing, he would bet, in a single throw of the dice, exactly what many gamblers might earn in a lifetime. While playing card games in Los Angeles, he won lots of cash and was likewise completely broke on numerous occasions.
It was in December 1992 that Archie began what many believe the greatest hot series in the history of gaming. He’d just lost $2 million during an Los Angeles high-stakes poker match, so he only had $50 to spare. But it was all he had to begin winning big.
Karas began in Binion’s Horseshoe casino where a friend seen him $10,000 to play high-stakes Razz, a game where the lowest hand wins. He travelled head-to-head with 15 of the world’s greatest poker players, such as Stu Unger, Chip Reese, Johnny Chan and Puggy Pearson. He won millions at poker before winning tens of thousands more at craps, eventually coming into ownership of the Horsehoe’s $5,000 processors — worth $11 million. By the time his encounter ended, he’d won $17 million playing craps and poker at the Horseshoe. Incidentally, he managed to settle the $10,000 loan with 50% interest.
His winning streak lasted for over two years, until he’d amassed $40 million. He managed to turn $7 million into $17 million by besting a few of the best poker players in Vegas at seven-card stud. In addition, he earned more than a million dollars playing nine-ball pool. The occasional losing streak was not enough to prevent him from winning a lot more than he lost.
His winning series, however, did eventually come to an end over a three-week period in 1995, at which he lost $11 million playing craps. In addition, he dropped $17 million in baccarat and another $2 million . He soon lost the rest of the $40 million — even though he was eventually able to borrow $40,000 to win back $1 million.
Archie’s luck may have conducted out in spectacular style, but his phenomenal winning streak stays the stuff of legend, and it is proof that anything is possible in gambling.
Elmer Sherwin — Megabucks Slots
Back in 1989, a man won $4.6 million on a Megabucks slot machine at 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 blessed. Following Sherwin won his $4.6 million, he continued playing with the same machine before he eventually won $2.1 million in 2005 at age 92, regardless of the likelihood of winning being projected at one in fifty million.
Sherwin said he was a lover of Megabucks for a very long time. He believed it would pay off eventually, which belief sustained him for years before his second triumph confirmed his instincts. It took 16 years playing the slot machine to replicate his first feat.
Sherwin’s first triumph came on the casino’s opening night, leading to speculation about how big wins occur on opening nights. But as everyone attempts to describe what cannot be explained, a mythology appears. People may wonder how you can replicate Sherwin’s feat of superhuman luck, but so far, he stays the big winner — twice over.
There are other big winners of Megabucks slots, such as a retired flight attendant who risked $300 in 1998 and won $27.5 million. Such wins could be rare, but they do occur from time to time.
Slots winnerPeter — Online Slots
The honor of winning the biggest online gambling payout is a member of a Norwegian gambler by the name of Peter. It might not be his actual name, but this isn’t what’s critical. 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 possible. His winning streak 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 that 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 3 hours in a roulette table at a London casino. His lucky number was 17, and his way of gambling centered on every possible mixture of that amount. As fortune would have it, the roulette ball fell 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 likelihood of hitting 17 were high. But Ashley must have understood that even a fortunate number rarely strikes twice in a row. Then again, stranger things have happened. Although in 2011, Ashley dropped a million pounds in the course of 2 hours. Easy come, easy go.
Sean Connery – Roulette
Sean Connery, aka super spy James Bond, also had tremendous luck betting on the number 17. While at a casino at the Italian Alps, in true Bond fashion, Connery put his money on 17. He missed the first two times, but on the third spin, the ball found 17. Leaving his winnings there, the croupier spun the wheel. Surprisingly, the ball found the 17 slot . What may have been even more unexpected, or maybe mad, was the fact that Connery once again left his winnings set up. Miraculously, the 17 came up a third time in a row, against chances of 50,000 to 1.
In Bond fashion, Connery coolly collected his winnings of 10,000 pounds, which in the modern marketplace might well be worth 163,000 pounds.
Curiously, there was a time when“17″ was among the most commonly played amounts in roulette. Not merely did Connery win large over the number 17 in 1963, but he did the exact same in the 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever.
Even though some have won bundles on the number 17, it doesn’t mean that the rest of us will have the same good luck with this amount. If we have blessed numbers, the challenge is in figuring them out, and they don’t necessarily arrive neatly wrapped in fortune cookies.
rouletteCharlie Wells – Roulette
Back in 1891, Charlie Wells netted $1 million after enjoying roulette for 11 consecutive hours. He was the man who „broke the bank at Monte Carlo,“ inspiring a famed music hall song by Fred Gilbert. Breaking the lender supposed winning more processors than are 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 famous confidence trickster. After creating a gain from a fraudulent creation known as the“musical jump rope,“ Wells decided to try his fortune in Monte Carlo. His game of choice was roulette, also it was at the roulette table which 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 thousand francs, he came back to the identical casino a year later and won another million francs over the course of three days.
In today’s dollars, his one million francs might be worth over $20 million.
Luck wasn’t always so kind to Wells, however, and after amassing more income from those who had spent in a fuel-saving device he invented for steam ships, he dropped everything at gambling. He spent eleven years in prison in England for fraud and five years in a French prison until he passed away in 1922, penniless.
Money comes, and cash goes, and for guys like Charlie Wells, it was all part of life’s experience.
William Darnborough – Roulette
William Darnborough hailed from Illinois when he played roulette at a Monte Carlo casino, winning half a million dollars over the course of seven years between 1904 and 1911 — which could be a staggering amount in the present market. He had already become a professional gambler by playing roulette in the U.S. at prohibited casinos operated inside saloons. It was stated he was a wheel-watcher who could anticipate where the ball might land.
Unlike Wells, though, Darnborough quit playing while he was forward, marrying into nobility and maintaining his fortune.
Don Johnson – Blackjack
Gambler Don Johnson needed a technique when it came to blackjack. He negotiated rules to give himself an advantage, like dividing a positive hand into four separate hands. In addition, he picked dealers who stopped drawing cards when a hand equaled 17, raising Johnson’s odds of having a better hands. Whenever he could, he’d double his bet.
Fortunately for Johnson, some casinos provide high-rollers 10 percentage paybacks, meaning that he could keep an entire win while still keeping money after a loss. By also negotiating the right to bet up to $25,000 per hand, he was able to multiply his own winnings much more quickly.
Although Johnson relied on chance as far as anybody else, his usage of these principles left to chance and more to strategy, earning him $15 million from three casinos at half a year.
Poker tournament Antonio Esfandiari — Poker Tournament
Already effective as a poker professional, Antonio Esfandiari risked a great deal of cash at a 2012 WSOP charity poker event — $1 million to be precise. 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 win brought Esfandiari’s total championship winnings into $23,245,838, which is the most any player ever won in poker tournament history.
Ashley Revell — Roulette
Approximately 2003, Ashley Revell sold his home and belongings in London and left for Vegas with approximately $135,000. Revell risked it all by putting it on red on a roulette wheel at the Plaza Casino in downtown Vegas. He immediately kicked his cash and left.
Although Revell was not a professional gambler, he also assumed an enormous risk and won big. He now owns iGaming Recruitment which helps staff gambling companies.
Kerry Packer — Blackjack and Baccarat
Billionaire Kerry Packer could manage to place huge bets. During a 1995 trip to the MGM Grand in Vegas, he won between $20 and $40 million in blackjack and baccarat. Allegedly, Packer played around eight hands simultaneously on multiple tables, betting up to $250,000 per hand. 25 minutes following his initial bet, he had already won $25 million, completing $20 million ahead of where he began.
Lady Luck favored Packer on a number of other events from 2010 through 2011. A $5.8 million triumph at the Tropicana Casino took under 12 hours. In addition, he won countless over a number of nights in the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
But, his luck turned a couple of decades later when he lost $28 million at a London casino.
Patricia Demauro – Craps
Using its many betting options, craps gives players an opportunity of winning large or losing big. For Patricia Demauro, fortune was on her side. She’d played once before, so when she arrived at the craps table at the Borgata in Atlantic City, she could not have been expecting to win 154 consecutive throws in the course of 4 hours and 18 minutes. Although she never disclosed her winnings, she purchased in for a mere $10 and could’ve won hundreds of thousands of dollars with conservative bets. If she were putting expert bets, winnings may have been in the millions.
It must be said that the odds of her accomplishment were in 1.56 trillion, and it happened in a unbelievable night.
Lady Luck
There are in fact enormous casino payouts all the time. For example, an anonymous man waiting for a basketball game in the Excalibur Casino won $39 million dollars. A woman seeing Vegas from Hawaii played the same slot machine for 3 hours less than $100 before winning close to $9 million. Another girl won $680 on a Wheel of Fortune machine at the Palace Station Hotel, later to win $27 million at a Megabucks jackpot. Who says you win has to be sufficient?
A Former owner of the Golden Nugget wrote of a video game programmer called Mr. Royalty who walked out with near $5 million, just 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 security test and turned it into roughly $1.5 million in the Treasure Island casino. Those who observed the man considered him the rudest and luckiest player they had ever seen. Unfortunately, the man later lost it before being kicked out.
Want to find out if luck is on your side? Come visit Dover Downs Hotel & Casino! When you play clever and thoughtfully, you never know what might happen.

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