Despite being an archaic, mechanical, three-reel slot machine dating from the Nineties, prior to August, 2014, the aptly-named ‘Lion’s Share’ was the most famous and popular attraction at the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip. In fact, so famous was it that it featured in a piece in the ‘Wall Street Journal’, which boosted its popularity still further.
In its heyday, the ‘Lion’s Share’ was played once every five seconds or so, day in, day out – that is, five times more often than the average game on the casino floor at the MGM Grand – and regularly attracted queues of eager gamblers. Paradoxically, the interest in the ‘Lion’s Share’ stemmed from its extreme frugality, at least with regard to its progressive jackpot, which accumulated over a period of two decades or more to an impressive $2.4 million.
In any event, the most enduring slot machine jackpot in Las Vegas was finally won by New Hampshire couple Walter and Linda Misco on August 24, 2014. Apparently, the Miscos had been playing the $1 three-coin machine for just five minutes when they lined up three green lion symbols on the pay line, thereby hastening its retirement. The ‘Lion’s Share’, which was believed to have been on the casino floor since 1993, was the only slot machine of its era remaining in the MGM Grand and only lasted as long as it did because the money accumulated in the progressive jackpot had to be won or, possibly, transferred to another machine.