Call it luck or recklessness, or a combo of both, but a few people risk huge sums of money on the off chance of an enormous win. And it does happen, with some paydays so ridiculously enormous they are life changing, turning ordinary people into millionaires in a matter of hours.
Some of the luckiest casino wins of all time have occurred to ordinary folks, a lot of them down in their luck. But luck always has a way of surprising everyone, although higher payouts do often come from the bigger bets.
Here are 12 tales about some of the greatest casino champions of all time.
Significant casino winnerArchie Karas — Poker and Craps
Called the”king of the casinos,” Archie Karas famously turned $50 into $40 million. Karas worked as a waiter before he learned about swimming hustling, where he gathered serious wealth — to the tune of $1 million. Never afraid of losing, he’d wager, in a single throw of the dice, exactly what many gamblers might earn in a lifetime. While playing card matches in Los Angeles, he won plenty of money and was also completely broke on numerous occasions.
It was in December 1992 which Archie started what many believe the greatest hot series at the history of gambling. He’d just lost $2 million during a Los Angeles high-stakes poker match, so he had $50 to spare. Nevertheless, it was all he needed to begin winning big.
Karas began in Binion’s Horseshoe casino where a friend spotted him $10,000 to play with Razz, a game where the lowest hand wins. He went head-to-head together with 15 of the world’s greatest poker players, including Stu Unger, Chip Reese, Johnny Chan and Puggy Pearson. He won countless poker before winning millions more at craps, finally coming into ownership of their Horsehoe’s $5,000 chips — worth $11 million. By the time his encounter finished, he had won $17 million playing craps and poker at the Horseshoe. Incidentally, he managed to repay the $10,000 loan using 50% interest.
His winning streak lasted for over two decades, until he’d amassed $40 million. He was able to turn $17 million to $17 million by besting a few of the best poker players in Vegas in seven-card stud. In addition, he earned more than a million dollars playing nine-ball pool. The occasional losing streak wasn’t sufficient to prevent him from winning far more than he lost.
His winning series, but did finally come to an end on a three-week interval in 1995, where he dropped $11 million playing matches. In addition, he lost $17 million in baccarat and another $2 million at poker. He soon lost the rest of the $40 million — although he was eventually able to borrow $40,000 to win back $1 million.
Archie’s luck may have conducted out in spectacular fashion, but his incredible winning streak remains the stuff of legend, and it is proof that anything is possible in gambling.
Elmer Sherwin — Megabucks Slots
In 1989, a guy won $4.6 million on a Megabucks slot machine at the Cannery Casino & Hotel in Vegas. His name was Elmer Sherwin, and he beat the odds, not once but twice, on the exact same slot machine. Some people today consider machines that are certain lucky. Following Sherwin won his $4.6 millionhe continued playing the identical machine before he eventually won $2.1 million in 2005 at age 92, despite the odds of winning being projected at one in fifty million.
Sherwin said he was a fan of Megabucks for quite a long time. He thought it would pay off eventually, and that belief lasted him for years until his second triumph confirmed his instincts. It took 16 years playing with the slot machine to duplicate his original accomplishment.
Sherwin’s first win came on the casino’s opening night, resulting in speculation about how large wins occur on opening nights. However, as everybody attempts to explain what cannot be explained, a mythology arises. People may wonder how you can duplicate Sherwin’s feat of superhuman luck, but so far, he stays the big winner — twice over.
There are other big winners of Megabucks slots, such as a retired flight attendant that risked $300 in 1998 and won $27.5 million. Such wins may be infrequent, but they do occur from time to time.
WinnerPeter — Online Slots
The honor of winning the largest online gaming payout belongs to a Norwegian gambler by the name of Peter. It might not be his real name, but this is not what’s important. What matters is that he turned into an internet casino winner by enjoying with a progressive jackpot slot known as Arabian Knights — also it had been the fruit slot machine that made his surprise triumph potential. His winning series netted him 11.7 million Euros, which interpreted to 38 million Norwegian Krone.
Peter played at the Betsson online casino which features the slogan,”Anything could happen.” Peter might have taken that to heart, and it was a fantastic thing he did.
Mike Ashley – Roulette
Mike Ashley, multi-billionaire owner of this Newcastle United Football Club, was already famous when he gained 1.6 million pounds in the span of 3 hours in a roulette table in a London casino. His lucky number was 17, and his way of betting centered on every potential combination of the number. As luck would have it, the roulette ball fell into the 17 slot, converting his first 480,000 pounds to 3 times that amount. Ashley retrieved his winnings and called it a day.
The likelihood of hitting 17 were large. However, Ashley must have understood that even a fortunate number rarely strikes twice in a row. Then again, stranger things have occurred. Although in 2011, Ashley lost one million pounds in the span of two hours. Easy come, easy go.
Sean Connery – Roulette
Sean Connery, aka super spy James Bond, also had tremendous luck betting on the number 17. While at a casino at the Italian Alps, in true Bond style, Connery place his money 17. He missed the first two times, but about the next spin, the ball found 17. Leaving there, the croupier spun the wheel. Surprisingly, the ball found that the 17 slot again. What might have been more unexpected, or maybe insane, was the simple fact that Connery once again left his winnings in place. Miraculously, the 17 came up a third time in a row, against chances of 50,000 to 1.
In Bond fashion, Connery coolly collected his winnings of 10,000 pounds, which in the modern marketplace could very well be worth 163,000 pounds.
Curiouslythere was a time when”17″ was among the most frequently played numbers in roulette. Not only did Connery win big over the number 17 in 1963, but he did the exact same from the 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever.
Although some have won bundles on the number 17, it doesn’t mean the rest of us will have the same good luck with this number. If we’ve got lucky numbers, the challenge is in figuring them out, and they don’t necessarily come neatly wrapped in fortune cookies.
rouletteCharlie Wells – Roulette
Back in 1891, Charlie Wells netted $1 million after enjoying roulette for 11 consecutive hours. He was the guy who “broke the bank at Monte Carlo,” inspiring a famed music hall song by Fred Gilbert. Breaking the bank supposed winning more processors than are on the table, and Wells did this not once, but 12 days in the course of the evening.
It ends up Charlie Wells was a famous confidence trickster. After making a profit from a fraudulent invention known as the”musical jumping rope,” Wells chose to test his luck at Monte Carlo. His game of choice has been roulette, and it was at the roulette table which Wells took 4,000 francs in processors and turned them into a thousand francs, winning 23 out of 30 successive spins at a single point. After winning a million francs, he came back to the same casino a year later and won a second thousand francs over the course of three days.
In today’s dollars, his one million francs might be worth over $20 million.
Luck was not always so kind to Wells, however, and after amassing more money from people who had invested in a fuel-saving device he devised for steam boats, he dropped everything at gaming. He spent eleven years in prison in England for fraud and five years at a French prison until he passed away in 1922, penniless.
Money stems, and money moves, and for guys like Charlie Wells, it was all a part of life’s adventure.
William Darnborough – Roulette
William Darnborough hailed from Illinois when he played roulette at a Monte Carlo casino, winning half a million dollars over the span of seven years between 1904 and 1911 — that could be a staggering sum in the present market. He had already become a professional gambler by playing blackjack at the U.S. at illegal casinos operated inside saloons. It was said that he had been a wheel-watcher who might anticipate where the ball might land.
Unlike Wells, however, Darnborough quit playing while he was forward, marrying into nobility and keeping his fortune.
Don Johnson – Blackjack
Gambler Don Johnson had a technique in regards to blackjack. He negotiated rules to give himself an edge, like dividing a positive hand into four individual hands. He also picked dealers who stopped drawing cards when a hands equaled 17, raising Johnson’s chances of getting a better hands. Whenever he could, he would double his wager.
Fortunately for Johnson, some casinos offer high-rollers 10 percentage paybacks, meaning that he can keep an entire win while still keeping money after a loss. By also negotiating the best to bet up to $25,000 a hand, he managed to multiply his winnings a lot more quickly.
Although Johnson relied on luck as much as anybody else, his use of the rules left less to opportunity and more to strategy, making him $15 million from three casinos at half a year.
Poker championship Antonio Esfandiari — Poker Tournament
Already successful as a poker pro, Antonio Esfandiari risked a great deal of money at a 2012 WSOP charity poker event — $1 million to be exact. In so doing, he took home the biggest purse in poker history with a total of 18,346,673. Despite 11% of the winnings going to charity, Esfandiari netted a staggering fortune.
The win brought Esfandiari’s total championship winnings to $23,245,838, which is the most any player won in poker tournament history.
Ashley Revell — Roulette
Approximately 2003, Ashley Revell sold his home and belongings in London and left for Vegas with approximately $135,000. Revell risked it all by placing it on reddish on a roulette wheel at the Plaza Casino in downtown Vegas. He quickly doubled his money and left.
Though Revell wasn’t a gambler, he assumed an enormous risk and won large. He owns iGaming Recruitment which helps staff gaming companies.
Kerry Packer — Blackjack and Baccarat
Billionaire Kerry Packer could afford to place large bets. During a 1995 trip to the MGM Grand in Vegas, he won between $20 and $40 million at blackjack and baccarat. Allegedly, Packer played up to eight hands at once on multiple tables, betting around $250,000 per hand. 25 minutes following his initial wager, he’d won $25 million, finishing $20 million before where he started.
Lady Luck favorite Packer on quite a few other events from 2010 through 2011. A $5.8 million triumph in the Tropicana Casino took under 12 hours. In addition, he won millions over a variety of nights in the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
However, his luck turned two decades later when he lost $28 million at a London casino.
Patricia Demauro – Craps
With its many gambling options, craps provides players a chance of winning large or losing big. For Patricia Demauro, luck was on her side. She’d played once before, so when she arrived at the craps table at the Borgata in Atlantic City, she couldn’t have been hoping to win 154 consecutive throws in the span of 4 hours and 18 minutes. Though she never revealed her winnings, she bought to get a mere $10 and could have won thousands of dollars with traditional stakes. If she were placing expert bets, winnings may have been in the millions.
It should be noted that the odds of her accomplishment were 1 in 1.56 trillion, and it happened in a incredible night.
Lady Luck
There are in fact enormous casino payouts all the time. By way of example, an anonymous man waiting for a basketball game in the Excalibur Casino won $39 million dollars. A woman visiting Vegas from Hawaii played the same slot machine for 3 hours less than $100 before winning close to $9 million. Another girl won $680 on a Wheel of Fortune machine at the Palace Station Hotel, later to acquire $27 million at a Megabucks jackpot. Who says one win ever has to be enough?
A Former owner of this Golden Nugget composed of a video game programmer named Mr. Royalty who walked out with near $5 million, only to return a week later to win an extra $1.5 million.
There is a story of a homeless guy who cashed a 400 social security test and flipped it into about $1.5 million at the Treasure Island casino. Individuals who observed the man considered him the rudest and luckiest player they’d ever seen. Sad to say, the man later lost it before being kicked out.
Wish to see if fortune is on your side? Come see Dover Downs Hotel & Casino! When you play smart and thoughtfully, you can’t know what might happen.

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