Elmer Sherwin  According to one estimate, based on the number of stops and the number of stops corresponding to a jackpot symbol on each reel, the probability of winning the ‘Megabucks’ progressive jackpot is 1 in 49.8 million spins. Nevertheless, the late Elmer Sherwin, who died in 2007 at the age of 93, defied astronomical odds – in the order of trillions to one – to win the jackpot not once, but twice, at two different Las Vegas casinos, sixteen years apart.

Sherwin was already a 76-year-old retiree when, on November 22, 1989, he lined up the Megabucks symbols for the first time at The Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip, which had only opened to the public earlier that day, and collected $4.65 million for his $3 stake. According to a spokesman for The Mirage, Sherwin played for about an hour-and-a-half and invested about $100 before winning what was, at the time, claimed to be the largest jackpot even won on a slot machine in Las Vegas.

Evidently not entirely satisfied with winning the progressive jackpot once, Sherwin continued to pursue what he later called his ‘life’s dream’ of a second Megabucks win for the next sixteen years. The stars, or at least the Megabucks symbols, aligned for a second time at the Cannery Casino in Downtown Las Vegas on September 16, 2005, and Sherwin collected a further $21.1 million. By now aged 92, Sherwin donated much of his winnings to charitable causes, including to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, which had caused catastrophic damage to cities along the Gulf Coast, including New Orleans, the previous month.

Largest Slot Machines  Named after a World War I German howitzer, the now-retired Big Bertha was, for many years, a fixture of Bally’s Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Manufactured by Bally Manufacturing Co., at a reported cost of $150,000, Big Bertha was a novelty item, intended to dominate the casino floor and draw attention to slot machines. Measuring nearly eight feet tall and five feet wide, with three huge reels driven by a five horsepower electric motor and 20” chain wheels, Big Bertha certainly succeeded in that respect.

Despite the undoubted success of Big Bertha, the pioneering ‘super slot’ was superseded, in the Fifties, by an even bigger machine known, unsurprisingly, as Super Big Bertha. Similarly expensive to manufacture, Super Big Bertha measured over eight tall and six-and-a-half feet wide and featured eight reels with twenty stops apiece.

Elsewhere on the Las Vegas Strip, at the Wynn Casino, the so-called ‘Microspin’ owes its name to the fact that it is based on the Microsoft Windows operating system, rather than anything to do with its size. Indeed, Microspin stands nine feet high and for a period, in the late Nineties, had the distinction of being the tallest slot machine in the world.

Still in Las Vegas, but away from the Strip, in Downtown, Four Queens Casino was home to a gargantuan slot machine known, unsurprisingly, as the ‘Queen’s Machine’. The Queen’s Machine measures ten feet tall and nine feet wide and, in its heyday, had the distinction of being the largest slot machine in the world. It was large enough, in fact, to accommodate six, seated players, who wagered on each spin via individual betting stations.

Several hundred miles northwest of the Las Vegas Strip, in Lake Tahoe, the now-defunct Barney’s Casino was, in its time, home to another celebrated, mechanical monster, which went by the name of ‘Big Irish Luck’. As the name suggests, Big Irish Luck featured four-clover and shamrock symbols, among others, on its five gigantic, Irish-themed reels.

Tipsy Tourist Slot by Betsoft  Introduction

With its 5×3 reel grid, 20 paylines and high volatility, the Tipsy Tourist video slot by Betsoft brings the holiday theme to life with its symbols, animated graphics and background music.

Among other things, our happy traveller sheds his corporate suit in the hopes to find plenty of sun, sea, and sand, as well as plenty of alcoholic drinks and perhaps the company of a beautiful woman. Symbols like these appear repeatedly on the reels, along with a ball symbol for free spins, a beach sign that acts as a wild symbol and a fun bonus game where players must drink their way to the riches.

Tipsy Tourist is an exciting video slot with accessibility on mobiles, tablets and computers. Bets start at only 0.02 coins per spin and a max bet of 100.

Symbol Payouts

Poker seems to be a favourite pastime of this Tipsy Tourist and you can earn up to 375 bonus coins if you land matching poker symbols on the reels. You can also receive up to 750 coins if you land a plane ticket or shell symbol. Up to 1,750 coins can be won with a beach babe symbol.

You’ll win eight free spins with three, four, and five beach ball symbols appearing across the reels of the screen. There is also a ‘clingy wild’ feature that retriggers the feature when wild signs appear on the reels, which in turn, makes winnings that much more lucrative.

Bonus Feature

Red cup icons appear on the first, second, and third reels to trigger the drinking game bonus. The game asks players to guess if a coin will land on tails or heads, resulting in the character downing a shot. You’ll then win a prize if you can guess correctly before the first person drinks a total of three shots.

Oldest Slot Machines  The term ‘slot machine’ is actually a contraction of ‘nickel-in-the-slot machine’ and was originally used to describe any coin-operated machine, including vending machines. However, the invention of the first modern slot machine – in the sense of a coin-operated gambling device, which also paid out in coins – is credited to Bavarian-born American inventor Charles Fey in 1895. His so-called ‘Liberty Bell’ machine featured three mechanical reels activated by pulling a lever and offered a ‘jackpot’ of fifty cents, which was paid out into a trough at the bottom of the machine.

Fast forward nearly seven decades and the next step in the evolution of the modern slot machine came in 1963, with the appearance of the first fully electro-mechanical slot machine, known as ‘Money Honey’. Manufactured by Bally Technologies, Money Honey was still, essentially, a mechanical device, but an electrically-operated coin hopper made for larger, more spectacular payouts, while flashing electronic lights added to the allure of playing.

The first video slot machine – that is, the first to employ a microprocessor, random number generator and video screen, rather than physical, mechanical reels – was made available to casinos in 1975. However, the so-called ‘Fortune Coin’ machine, invented by Walt Fraley, was not well received by sceptical gamblers and the following year Fraley sold out to International Game Technology, who used the machine as the basis for several new games.

Last, but by no means least, in the evolution of the slot machine came the online slot, which was made possible by the invention of the World Wide Web, by British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee, in 1989. The first online casino, ‘Gaming Club’ by Microgaming, launched in 1995 and included a rudimentary, three-reel online slot called ‘Fantastic Sevens’. Three years later, Microgaming also launched the first wide area progressive jackpot online slot, known as ‘Cash Splash’.