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VEGAS MYTHS BUSTED: The Megabucks ‘Curse’

Posted on: February 10, 2023, 08:04h. 

Final up to date on: February 6, 2023, 02:55h.

If the supernatural is your jam, then this text received’t upend your worldview. However even when you imagine that curses are a factor that’s potential, the proof for this one is flimsy to nonexistent.

In March 2000, a 37-year-old cocktail waitress named Cynthia Jay-Brennan received a Megabucks slot jackpot on the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, the place Wynn and Encore stand right this moment. The whole was almost $35 million. She married her boyfriend they usually made plans to journey the world.

Cynthia Jay Megabucks winner
Cynthia Jay celebrates her Megabucks slot win on the Desert Inn earlier than destiny interceded. (Picture: Las Vegas Solar)

Six weeks later, Clark Morse, a drunken driver with 16 prior arrests, slammed into the again of Jay-Brennan’s automobile whereas it was stopped at a purple gentle. The collision killed her sister, Lela Anne Jay, 45, and shattered Jay-Brennan’s backbone.

Morse, 58, acquired a 28-year jail sentence. Jay-Brennan stays completely paralyzed under her higher chest. Far an excessive amount of of her jackpot has been spent on medical bills.

This barely plausible “Twilight Zone” of a horror story is just about the extent of the verifiable proof supporting the parable of the Megabucks curse.

Mega Bull

Megabucks describes an interconnected system of tens of 1000’s of slot machines in a whole lot of Nevada casinos. Each time somebody takes a Megabucks spin, a small portion of the wager is positioned right into a jackpot that anybody at any machine can win at any time.

The payoff begins at $10 million and will increase by fractions of cents each second till somebody will get fortunate sufficient to line up the three Megabucks symbols on a slot machine payline. The longer the interval between jackpots, the upper the quantity.

Megabucks was created in March 1986 by slot producer Worldwide Sport Know-how (IGT) as a strategy to win again a number of the enterprise Nevada casinos have been shedding to state lotteries that promised mega-million jackpots, and to racetracks providing huge pay-out parlay wagers. It was the world’s first wide-area linked-progressive slot-machine system.

To win a Megabucks slot jackpot, gamers should make the utmost wager potential on the spin. Then, all three Megabucks symbols should come up. (Picture: victoriana.com)

In March 2003, a 25-year-old male software program engineer from LA, visiting Las Vegas for the NCAA Basketball Match, turned a $100 Megabucks slot spin into $39.7M on the Excalibur. It’s nonetheless the world document.

The explanation we don’t know his identify is as a result of he was sensible. You may request to stay nameless. Though this received’t conceal you from the IRS, it helps stop distant kinfolk and former mates from crawling out of the woodwork to beg you to repay their pupil loans and finance their wonderful new app concepts.

There’s a draw back to picking anonymity, nonetheless: It permits faux information, the web’s wheelhouse, to proliferate about you and your destiny.

Because the document megawinner’s identify isn’t identified, the occasions of his life can’t be tracked. So web posters fill within the blanks with their very own twists on Jay-Brennan’s story. The software program engineer died shortly after successful by gang violence, in an airplane crash, or by overdosing on medicine on the Palms. (Myths wish to get particular, for added believability.)

These false narratives took root so rapidly and pervasively, IGT even broke its personal coverage, issuing a press release in regards to the winner: He was nonetheless alive and properly. (However, after all, they would say that, proper?  They need you to maintain enjoying!)

Delusion Interpreted

The Megabucks curse fable truly serves a psychological objective.

“For some, it could function a comfort prize – a method of deriving psychological consolation from the roughly 49,999,999 out of each 50,000,000 spins that fail to provide the highest award,” Anthony Lucas, a professor of on line casino administration at UNLV and former gaming trade operations analyst, instructed On line casino.org.

Virtually the identical precise fable exists about state lottery winners.

“The legends we inform are our method of mentally chewing over ideas that disquiet us, and only a few really feel in any respect snug with the belief of their feeling envious,” based on Snopes, which, it ought to go with out saying, ascribes its “false” score to the Megabucks curse.

Higher Issues to Fear About

Even when the Megabucks curse have been actual — and, by this level, you get that it isn’t, proper? — getting struck by lightning is one thing it’s best to fear about extra. Based on the Nationwide Climate Service, the percentages of that taking place to you in any given 12 months are 1 in 1.2 million. The percentages of your experiencing a Megabucks win on any given spin are about 1 in 50 million. That’s 41 instances much less seemingly.

“To make use of your analogy, it’s like getting struck by lightning whereas sitting in your living-room sofa,” Lucas mentioned.

In all, 22 folks have received Megabucks jackpots exceeding $10M previously 16 years. As a result of the bulk selected to stay nameless, there is no such thing as a proving conclusively that extremely dangerous issues haven’t occurred to most of them. However the level is moot. Comply with any group of twenty-two random non-Megabucks winners round for sufficient time and extremely dangerous issues will occur to lots of them.

Because the late Doorways singer Jim Morrison sang, “Nobody right here will get out alive.”

And, within the case of 1 Megabucks winner who didn’t select to stay nameless, an extremely good factor occurred to him. Elmer Sherwin, a 76-year-old retired World Conflict II veteran, hit for $4.6M on the opening day of the Mirage in 1989. (This was earlier than the minimal payout was $10M.)  Then, in 2005, having survived to age 92 regardless of “the curse,” he hit a second Megabucks jackpot, for $21.1 million, on the Cannery.

“That’s like getting struck by lightning, whereas sitting in your living-room sofa, with out a cloud within the sky,Lucas mentioned.

Search for “Vegas Myths Busted” each Friday on On line casino.org. Click on right here to learn beforehand busted Vegas myths. Bought a suggestion for a Vegas fable that wants busting? E-mail corey@on line casino.org.