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When Jackpot Dreams Turn to Dust

Recently I read a news report about a guy in Austria who was playing at a local casino when he suddenly hit the jackpot.   His joy and disbelief that he had won close to $62 million was short lived, however, because he was approached by two casino employees who told him that his win was a mistake, and put it down to ‘software and human error’.  Incredibly, the casino told him that they would not be held responsible because it was the casino employee’s fault and not the casino’s fault (go figure).   This guy is now suing the casino … surprise surprise.

Anyway, his story reminded me of one I heard back in 2009 when Bill Seebeck played at Seminole Hard Rock Casino.  Suddenly his $4 slot machine game started whirring and dinging, and flashed a $166,000,000 win in bright lights.  Within seconds, the casino’s management had the slot machine cordoned off and for a whole, wonderful hour allowed Seebok to dream about how he would spend his incredible windfall.  However, these dreams soon turned to dust after Seebok was informed that the win was actually the result of a malfunction in the casino software and he wasn’t a winner after all.

Seebok was asked to sign a piece of paper on the spot, waiving all rights to claim anything from the casino which he (obviously) refused to do, and he went on to hire a lawyer in the hope of retrieving his win.   Incredibly, the casino claimed that since the highest win on that particular jackpot game was $99,999, it was impossible that Seebok could be the winner of such a large amount of money.  Even worse, the casino said that since it’s ‘policy’ wasn’t to pay out anything on a machine that malfunctions, Seebok wouldn’t be able to see a cent of his win.

One can’t feel anything but sympathy for these guys.  How many times have you dreamed of the moment when you hit the lottery and how many plans have you already made to spend the money.  When it finally happens, how absolutely cruel to have that dream taken away due to ‘human error’ or ‘software error’.  Poor guys!

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