Mega Jackpots: The Biggest Wins in Casino History

Mega Jackpots - 5 biggest wins in history of casino jackpots

Casinos act as transient escapes from the daily pressures of life. These establishments offer an irresistible environment where time seems to stop for a while. The immersive themes, lively atmosphere, and captivating lights bring players to a different domain, free from their responsibilities and worries.

Additionally, the anticipation of winning a substantial amount entices players to put their money on the line. They enjoy thinking of what they’d do if they won or because winning a jackpot will change their lives.

Everyone aspires to walk away a winner at the casino one day. But luck isn’t just on everybody’s side. Still, if you need inspiration, below are some of the biggest casino wins ever.

5. Johanna Heundl


Johanna Heundl, a retiree from Covina and a frequent Las Vegas Strip casino visitor, won $22.6 million on a Megabucks machine in 2002. According to Heundl, she was headed for breakfast when she decided to stop at Bally’s Las Vegas and play the machine.

She hoped to win at least the $3,000 progressive prize on the machine. Johanna had invested $100 at first but had lost them. Then, she invested another $100. After spending $170, Johanna bagged the massive prize of $22.6 million. But initially, Johanna thought she’d only won $2 million.

According to reports, she spent some of her winnings visiting her siblings living across Europe.

Today, there’s no need to travel to a physical casino to play such games and possibly win large sums. Online casinos such as Fanduel offer various slot games with different themes.

Try visiting to experience the thrill of playing slots.

4. Cynthia Jay Brennan

Another lucky winner is Cynthia Jay Brennan. Her life changed when she won at least $35 million in 2000 from a Megabucks slot machine.

Cynthia Jay Brennan rarely gambled. However, she’d occasionally try her luck by playing the slot machines. In January 2000, Cynthia went to the Desert Inn and Casino to celebrate the birthday of her boyfriend’s mother.

After a delicious meal together, Cynthia suddenly wanted to play the slots. Her boyfriend agreed to play, but she could only spend $100. Then, Cynthia went to the Megabucks machine, which had an all-time high jackpot.

At first, she invested $21, betting $3 per spin. However, the money was gone in a blink. So, Cynthia decided to play on another machine, restricting herself to only two more spins. In the first spin, she got no matching symbols.

And then, as if in slow motion, the Megabuck symbols emerged one by one in her final spin. Three matching symbols appeared on the machine, signifying that Cynthia had won the mega jackpot.

She used her winnings to marry her boyfriend quickly and travel to Fiji for their honeymoon. Also, classmates and old friends started contacting her to borrow money. Since Cynthia knew what it was like to struggle, she agreed to give money to everyone who called her. Additionally, Cynthia Jay Brennan set up trust funds for each family member and paid all their debts.

3. Archie Karas

Archie Karas - the run - biggest jackpots winners

Archie Karas is among the many gamblers who had incredible runs at the Las Vegas casino strip. One day, he went to Las Vegas with only $50 but brought a boatload of confidence and sheer blind ambition.

Then, Archie found a friend who lent him $10,000 at a fifty percent interest rate. He started playing the game Razz, and his capital tripled within three hours. After that, he repaid his friend’s debt and returned to the casino to continue playing.

What followed was “The Run,” also known as the longest winning streak in gambling history. Karas’s groundbreaking skill and luck put him on the wildest ride of his life. By 1995, he had converted $50 into $40 million.

Archie continued his crusade. He was becoming a big name in Razz and Poker. Many players were terrified to sit at the same table as Archie Karas.

2. Antonio Esfandiari

Antonio Esfandiari - biggest jackpots winners

Antonio Esfandiari is an American professional poker player renowned for winning $18 million at the 2012 WSOP’s The Big One for One Drop. He defeated a field of 48 players, including wealthy business people and acclaimed poker professionals.

At the final table, he faced Sam Trickett in a daylong battle. On the final hand, Antonio secured a victory with three fives he gained before the turn and outplayed Trickett’s flush draw. He finished with 143,975,000 chips.

In addition to the massive cash prize, Antonio Esfandiari received a $5 million platinum bracelet. He dedicated the bracelet to his father, who sacrificed everything to move his entire family to America from Iran.

Antonio Esfandiari told his brother before the tournament that he would win and give the bracelet to his father, which he had already predicted. He said, I believed it and declared it.

1. Don Johnson

Don Johnson, a Wyoming-based company chief executive, has won over $15.1 million playing blackjack at three different Atlantic City casinos. According to the Press of Atlantic City, he won about $4 million at Caesars, $5 million at Borgata, and roughly $5.8 million at Tropicana Casino.

All these were done in at least six months. While Johnson refused to disclose his winning strategy in playing blackjack, he denied having any system for counting cards. He said luck was on his side more than any other skill.

Moreover, despite the run of wins, Don Johnson admitted he had experienced some significant losses.

Don Johnson, an elite businessman, dresses modestly when gambling. He prefers to wear sweatshirts, trainers, and caps branded with the casino’s logo he’s in. As a VIP customer, the casinos showered Johnson with privileges and gifts.

Some casinos even gave him a 20% discount on any losses he encountered, plus other free perks. However, as of today, casinos like Harrah’s and Caesars in Nevada have banned him from playing.

Interested in a similar story? Here’s an article on famous celebs who hit mega jackpots! You might dig it.


Winning a jackpot at a casino is one of the best feelings in the world. Over the years, many lucky players have experienced this euphoric feeling, and lives have changed instantly. While the thought of winning big by gambling is enticing, sticking to responsible practices is crucial. Don’t force things to happen, and don’t spend more than you can afford to lose.

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Marija Jovanovic

Hey! My name is Marija Jovanovic, and I work as a content editor and writer at When I'm not working, you'll catch me gaming, designing pictures or travelling. I've got a knack for programming and solving PC troubles, which fits perfectly with my gaming vibe. Off-duty, I mostly spend my time gaming, coding something cool, or travelling to exotic destinations!