Stubborn Slot Machine Finally Pays Jackpot After Nearly 20 Years


For Walter Misco it must have seemed almost anti-climactic. The retired horse farmer needed around five minutes to break down the miserly machine on Friday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to take home $2.4 million. And he can thank the Wall Street Journal for around $60,000 of it since its been played near constantly since the article came out in early February.

A three-wheeled one-armed bandit is a thing of the past but it remained a necessary evil as well as a major draw for the MGM Grand.

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Actually, Mr. Misco owes the Wall Street Journal even more than the $60,000 that the jackpot accrued since the article. He read about the slot and earmarked a $100 bill to conquer it, something he against all odds managed last week.

Thank you WSJ for the Jackpot

“After Wall Street Journal published an article by writer Ron [sic] Copeland in February 2014 about the long-dormant machine, lines of fortune-seekers at the machine stretched ever longer. Fans waited single-file for their turn at the machine as they cheered on fellow enthusiasts,” read a Saturday statement from the casino, owned by MGM Resorts International.

Those seeking glory on the machine forced the MGM grand to organize a system to try your luck on the machine.

While Mr. Misco has yet to speak to reporters since winning the jackpot, when he won he made it clear that a good portion of the money would go towards the education of his children and their children.

It has a ‘juju’

In the article from February, its author Ron Copeland spoke to the mythical properties of the machine by interviewing players including Siubhan Pabst of San Jose, Calif.

“I’m not normally liker this, but with this machine, I talk to it. Whenever s lion comes up I rub it. I know it’s strange, but the machine has this ‘juju’ about it,” she said. While the jackpot went to Mr. Misco, Pabst did take $10,000 off it. “I was sitting there at the machine frozen in shock for 20 minutes.”

MGM reps have promised that the machine would be retired after the jackpot was won and even promised the winner the ability to take it home but that may or may not work.

“We would like to, but it depends on New Hampshire laws … each state is different,” MGM slots executive Justin Andrews said Monday morning. “We are researching it.”