With her marriage to professional basketball player Carmelo Anthony firmly on the rocks, 2019 wasn’t shaping up to be a great year for Alani Nicole “La La” Anthony. However, in July, just a few days shy of the ninth anniversary of her wedding to her estranged husband, in 2010, the American television personality at least had something to celebrate.
Following a visit the Essence Festival – the largest celebration of black women and black culture in the U.S. – at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana – confirmed gambler Anthony tried her luck at a nearby casino in the early hours of Sunday morning. As she later told her Instagram followers, ‘…it all started when I put $200 in a slot machine in NOLA at 4am this morning.’
Lady luck did, indeed, smile down on the ‘Power’ actress, because for her initial, modest investment she won jackpot prizes not once, but twice. The first of them was worth in excess of $53,000 and was followed, shortly afterwards, by another worth $10,000; all told Anthony hit the unidentified casino for $68,000, or £54,000. Unsurprisingly, the 36-year-old was only too happy to share news of her win with her millions of Instagram followers, by means of a video showing virtual coins cascading across the slot machine, accompanied by gasps of disbelief from herself and her unbelieving friends.
Aliante Casino, in North Las Vegas, is also home to a huge, 3,400-seat cinema, known as Alliante Stadium 16, and consequently a popular destination for film buffs as well as gamblers. One regular cinemagoer – a gentleman from Southern Nevada, identified only as ‘Clint’ – had more reason to celebrate than most following his visit to the Aliante Casino in September, 2019. While waiting to take his seat in the auditorium, he invested $20 in the International Game Technology (IGT) Wheel of Fortune slot machine, one of over 2,000 such machines on the casino floor.
Opting to play five quarters, or 25¢ coins, at a time, for a total of $1.25 a spin – the minimum stake required to win the progressive jackpot on that version of the machine – Clint only had to press the spin button a few times before he lined up the jackpot winning symbols. At the time, the jackpot meter – which starts at $200,000 and increases by a small percentage for each coin played on a number of interconnected slot machines – stood at $935,176 or nearly £765,000.
According to a press release from Boyd Gaming, which owns and operates Aliante Casino, Clint is a new resident of the region; he was unable for comment, he was happy to pose, winning cheque in hand, for publicity photographs in front of the machine responsible for his life-changing win. Which film he originally intended to watch and whether or not he actually watched it remain unconfirmed.
Quite rightly, bricks-and-mortar casinos are always keen to advertise slot machine jackpot winners, not least because it provides tasty bait for frequent losers, without whom considerable jackpots would not be possible. However, online casinos, too, have their fair share of big winners.
In September, 2019, for example, a new, mobile player from Finland invested just €0.50 on the ‘Joker Millions’ progressive jackpot slot at Casumo Casino and won a staggering €3.4 million. Joker Millions is a five-reel, three-row payline slot supplied by Maltese online gaming solutions provider Yggdrasil Gaming, which can be played on any desktop or mobile device. As the name suggests, joker symbols are the key to the game. Five joker symbols, in any position, across the reels triggers a so-called ‘jackpot spin’, during which the player has the opportunity to collect more joker symbols as the reels re-spin. Any player collecting joker symbols in all fifteen reel positions wins the progressive jackpot.
According to the supplier, the life-changing jackpot on their classic, popular slot was the third to be generated by one of its progressive jackpot online offerings in a period of less than twelve months. In November, 2018, Jokers Millions yielded record winning of £7.8 million, while in April, 2019, ‘Empire Fortune’ delivered a further £3.1 million. Collectively, the three jackpots amounted to a £14.3 million, much to the delight of the chief executive officer at Yggdrasil Gaming, Fredrick Elmqist. Elmqist added, “This is a dream come true for such a new mobile player and we’re thrilled it took place on Casumo, one of our major partners.”