On October 6, 2015, Johnathon Heywood, a soldier from England, saw a TV commercial on Betway Casino, one of gambling industry’s oldest gaming sites. Tempted by the prospect of winning a bit of money, he decided to register an account and tackle none other than the (in)famous Mega Moolah progressive jackpot slot. Seven minutes later, John scored the largest prize ever won in a slot game – €17,880,900, landing a coveted place in the Guinness Book of Records, where his feat remains unchallenged to this day. His story can still be found on here, a great advertisement for the brand, no doubt. Starting at one million, the Mega Jackpot is the bane of eager gamblers everywhere, triggered rarely, but often enough to fill up a long list of lucky winners, inspiring hope in many slot fans who dream about life-changing amounts. Tales of incredible wins, and the slot’s seemingly generous nature are a source of never-ending speculations, strategies and far-reaching theories on its inner workings, RNG and the frequency of payouts.
A Lot of Moolah
Some people have trouble believing any large sum can be won on a game of chance, claiming made-up stories propagated to inexperienced players to lure them in. While this is always a possibility, we have so many official sources keeping track of these rare occurrences, and if there is a game closely followed for years, it is certainly Mega Moolah. July 2017 concluded with a total of 35 winners, with the smallest payout of $3.38 million. Considering these are all progressive prizes, whose main characteristic is the extreme unlikelihood ever to trigger, you have to admit the list is quite impressive. Seeing the statistics, players rush to this game, fully confident their fortune will strike eventually, that it’s only a matter of time before they become another instant millionaire. But it’s better to be realistic – maybe being the world’s most popular game has something to do with such frequent payouts?
Everyone Gets a Chance
Since 2006, four different slots have been released in this series, all feeding into the same progressive jackpot across all online casinos powered by Microgaming. The original game is themed around wildlife of Africa, and features 5 reels and 25 pay-lines, while the rest have similar mechanics with Egyptian, American and summertime themes. The jackpot is won in the bonus game, which activates at random at any time, and at any stake. There are four progressive rewards in total: Mini, Minor, Major and Mega, which is the only one with a guaranteed €/£/$1+ million payout. Random means, there’s nothing we can do to make the bonus trigger; however, the size of the bet does affect the bonus feature: the higher the wager per spin, the higher the triggering chances get. You can still bet a minimum of $0.25 and win, but the probability for this to happen is microscopic at best.
As with all progressive games, each spin counts as a separate event. Spin once or hundreds of times in a row, you still have the same chance of winning at the start of every spin. At any given moment, thousands of players at over 100 casinos bet on one of the slots in the Mega Moolah series, and every single one of their spins feeds a small amount into the main prize pool. Most players are likely staking maximum amounts to increase the odds of activating the Wheel of Fortune feature. That’s a lot of money accumulating over time, before landing into the pockets of someone born under a lucky star.
Considering how the game works, it is clear the series is neither broken, as some would say, or too generous as others would like to believe. To claim the wins are all fabricated is also far fetched, since the above clearly shows the reasons why there have been many wins over the years, and also why some have happened one after the other, within a short time span, even in the same month. Simply put, it is an incredibly popular game, if not THE most played slot in history, available worldwide on both desktop and mobile. Instead of doubting its credibility, we should be wondering why it doesn’t pay more often!