Part of gambling’s appeal is the promise of big wins and riches. Although a lot of people might be skeptical, since the house edge is never in the gambler’s favor, it’s no surprise that while not every gambler walks out a millionaire, a lucky few have turned a few dollars into enough to set them for life.
Gambling has been around for thousands of years, entertaining people all around the world. Different versions of gambling evolved over time, becoming what it is today. Even though nowadays when people mention gambling, we think of things like poker, slots, and roulette, these are relatively more recently-developed games, having been invented in the last few centuries.
But even the gambling we know of today might not be as popular in the next century. Already, gambling is starting to move to an online platform. This has allowed not only more people to play, but also more intricate games to be developed.
Since the invention of the internet, a whole world of opportunity opened up for the state of gambling. Not only has online gambling become a new favorite past-time, but its popularity has spread through social media, as people have been posting videos and photos of their big wins. There are even YouTube channels dedicated to uploading tips on how to win big and even just playing casino games in general.
Gambling’s presence on social media has become especially popular for people that not only love the rush that comes with playing the game but also feel a similar excitement from watching others play too.
In any case, big wins are exciting for everyone. And depending on which game you play your odds of winning are different. It was estimated that the chance of winning at an old-school slot machine with three reels and ten symbols each was about one in one thousand.
Slots have become well-known for huge jackpots. According to Gambling News Magazine, people have won millions of dollars playing slots. But there’s usually a difference between classic, mechanical slot machines, and digital slots. Because online and video slots are computer generated, the odds of winning can be a lot lower.
Even with such low odds, a handful of people have won big from online casino games. Here are a few of the biggest online casino winnings of all time:
1. This British soldier made $20 million from 25p
At only 26 years old, Jon Heywood, a British soldier placed 25p on Betway’s online Mega Moolah slot game. As of 2015, Heywood held the world record for online slot game payouts.
With the money, Heywood planned on spending it on his family, before splurging on himself. He planned on using the money to help his father get the best medical treatment, buy his relatives a Mediterranean cruise, and then get himself a Bentley.
2. $18.7 million from only 25 cents
According to Gambler’s Daily Digest, a lucky Finnish player in 2013 also made millions from online slot games. He bet 25 cents on NetEnt’s Mega Fortune into $18 million at an online platform called Paf Casino.
3. An Anonymous American made $9.2 million dollars in 2017
Although how the money was spent remains unknown, this American made millions from playing a mobile casino game. After winning, this person decided to remain anonymous, and probably for good reason.
4. New Zealander wins $10 million
At 27 years old, Rawiri Pou had been playing online slots for a while. After winning $1500 he decided to put the money back in, aiming to hit the jackpot. To his surprise, he actually did.
It was truly a shocking moment for both Pou and his family. Although his gambling choices made him a millionaire, at a press conference held for his win, he advised people to think before they act.
Like Jon Heywood, the British soldier, Pou planned on spending most of his winnings on his family.
5. €6.3 million Won by Greek Gambler from a €5 bet
Georgios M. found himself on an online gambling website in 2009. After looking through it he decided to enroll in River Belle casino, where he ended up betting €5 on a Mega Moolah slot machine and won the jackpot of €6.3 million.
He was so shocked by his win that he immediately called the casino’s support line. When they confirmed his win, he was still in awe.
With his big wins, Georgios M. spent a portion of it taking his family on a nice vacation and investing in his business.
In light of these big wins, you might be wondering, “but HOW?” When it comes to slots, the likelihood of winning is basically up to chance. But according to Weekly Slots News, there are a couple of things you can do to maximize your chances.
One thing you can do is check out the return to player (RTP) rate. But if you try, you might run into some trouble. Although there are laws in place to ensure that the RTP doesn’t fall below a minimum value, the actual RTP rates are not often published by casinos.
In the United States, Nevada has the lowest legal minimum return to player rate, at around 75%, while New Jersey has the highest, around 83%. But even from this, the RTP will vary from game to game.
Another thing you should understand about specifically online slot games is variance. Although some slot machines will have lower RTP rates, they might have larger one-off wins. This means that even though there are less frequent wins, each win might be larger than from a machine with high RTP rates.
But even with the low odds of winning millions of dollars, people have done it. The five instances above are proof. So, you might be asking, “How do I start winning anything at all?”
As stated before, most online gambling, especially slots, are mostly games of luck and chance. But if you want to try your hand at online gambling, you can start with free trials and bonuses.
According to Lucian Marinescu at OnlineCasinoGems, “while simply getting a bonus or free spin might not increase your actual chances of winning, you might be able to make some money from the beginning without having to pay out of your own pocket”.