Imagine, if you would, how absolutely giddy you'd be if you won a $43 million jackpot while playing a casino slot machine. You could burn a lot of bridges with that amount of cash. Casino slot game.
Then imagine the opposite feeling you'd get when the casino tells you there was a "malfunction" and you're not getting that jackpot, even though the slot machine lit up and said it was "printing cash ticket $42,949,672.76."
That really happened in August 2016 to Katrina Bookman, who is now suing the Resorts World Casino in Queens County Supreme Court, demanding that she get her payout from the Sphinx slot machine.
Instead of a massive payout, the New York casino instead allegedly awarded her a steak dinner and the $2.25 balance she had on the machine when she thought she hit the big one on the one-armed bandit made by International Game Technology, which is also named in the suit. The unhappy gambler alleges negligence, breach of contract, and negligent misrepresentation, according to Courthouse News Service, which says the complaint included a selfie Bookman took with the machine that showed she had hit the big one.
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This isn't the first time a slot machine has malfunctioned, resulting in a gambler being denied serious cash. An 87-year-old Illinois woman gambling in Iowa had hit a nearly $42 million payout from the Hello Kitty slot machine. But she was denied payment because of a computer glitch.
Iowa's top court ruled in 2015 the slot machine's user-agreement, available on the touchscreen, said the maximum payout was $10,000.
"Any message appearing on the screen indicating the patron would receive a $41 million bonus was a gratuitous promise and the casino's failure to pay it could not be challenged as a breach of contract," the Iowa Supreme Court ruled.
After news broke of Bookman's plight, the casino said in a statement that "Machine malfunctions are rare, and we would like to extend our apologies to Ms. Bookman for any inconvenience this may have caused." The New York State Gaming Commission has sided with the Resorts World Casino, ruling the there was " clearly a display malfunction " and that the machine's maximum payout was programmed for $6,500. The slot machine was fixed and operating the following day.