Gamblers Flock To Ancient Las Vegas Slot Machine Without Jackpot In 20 Years; Winnings Now Worth $2M
By Oulimata Ba | Feb 08, 2014 11:14 AM EST
At the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, there is an ancient slot machine that has outsmarted gamblers for almost two decades.
Named the Lion's Share, the three-reel slot machine has become an attraction within the MGM Grand because no one has won a jackpot on it in nearly 20 years, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. Scores of gamblers have poured their bets into the machine, causing the Lion's Share's winnings to reach a rare jackpot of $2.3 million.
The Lion's Share even has its own Facebook page, Twitter and several fan websites. Of the casino's 1,900 machines, it's the oldest three-reel slot machine and the one with the highest "occupancy" rate, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Justin Paulus, a 23-year-old engineer from Arizona, spent six hours at the Lion's Share last year. He kept falling asleep.
"Security kept coming over to wake me up, but they didn't say I had to leave," Paulus told The Wall Street Journal. "So I'd wake up, press a button, and then fall asleep again. I just have this feeling it's going to hit soon."
Lief Anderson, 64, is another Lion's Share hopeful. His father began playing the machine 10 years ago, and now Anderson is carrying on the tradition.
"You see the sharks swimming around, scoping you out," Anderson, from Washington state, told The Wall Street Journal.
The Lion's Share takes $1 and $2 bets, with a maximum of $3. A player can receive up to $10,000 without winning the jackpot. The seat is first-come, first-serve, according to traditional slot customs, and a user can stay as long as they please, The Wall Street Journal reported.
"It's become a meeting spot for us," 51-year-old Ken Keufler told The Wall Street Journal. He plays the Lion's Share with his wife. "We have friends we've made just from waiting at the machine."
Keufler, a boilermaker, brings $5,000 with him every time he visits the casino, all of which goes to the Lion's Share.
"If he could sleep with this machine, he would," Karen, his wife, told The Wall Street Journal.
Some players perform odd routines before they play to increase their chances of winning.
"I'm not normally like this, but with this machine, I talk to it," Siubhan Pabst, 34, told The Wall Street Journal. "Whenever a lion comes up, I rub it. I know it's strange, but the machine has this juju about it."