We all dream of a big casino win and what we’d do with the millions – buy a fancy car, pay off the mortgage, treat our friends to a posh vacation. While we know we’re not going to win every time we put a wager on a game, we certainly hope for that big payday.
To keep our spirits up in the pursuit, a little inspiration can always help. And when it comes to casino gambling, someone else’s big win can be just that. Simply knowing that another person out there has actually won a major jackpot sweetens the dream, proving that a big win is indeed within reach. That next hand of blackjack could be it. That next pull of the pokies lever could be our ticket to the big times! And so on. When the big win happens closer to home, to a fellow Australian, it’s even more inspiring, making us feel even more like it could be us.
Just to be clear, winning at casino games isn’t a novelty. Every day Australians at home and abroad are winning sums of money (big and small) playing all sorts of games at offline and online casinos. Some paydays are simply pocket change, while others have a serious impact on the winner’s bank account, drastically improving their overall lifestyle. Either way, a win is always fun. And a bigger win? Even more fun!
Biggest online casino wins of 2018
If you’re looking for a big payday, it’s no secret that your best bet is an online progressive jackpot game. And if it’s from a major casino software developer, even better. There’s a simple mechanical explanation behind this. First of all, progressive games have jackpots built by contributions from players throughout a game’s entire network. Basically, money from each bet placed on that game from every online casino where it appears is added to the pot, pumping up those big jackpot numbers. Second, since a big software company has its games in more casinos, it has more players contributing to the jackpot pool.
Accounting for both those factors, it’s no wonder that Mega Moolah is probably the most popular progressive slots. It’s the brainchild of Microgaming, one of the biggest casino software companies around. And to prove its power it paid out a massive $3.6 million in January 2018. The lucky winner was a Canadian player, but since Canadians are part of the Commonwealth, we’d call that pretty close. But take this as a tip, Mega Moolah is actually seeded with $1M. That means once the big jackpot is won, it goes right back up to the million-dollar range. After that, it can easily grow to astonishing sums for record-breaking wins like the €18,915,721 Mega Moolah jackpot won at another online casino just months later in late September 2018. And by record-breaking we mean Guinness World Record stuff, officially making the listing as “largest jackpot payout in an online slot machine game”. The winner of this amazing sum chose to remain entirely anonymous, so we can’t even guess where she lives, but we’re certainly hoping she’s one of us, and in any event commend her on her win.
Though Mega Moolah is indeed impressive, rest-assured it isn’t the only name in the big jackpots game of 2018. Mega Fortune pokies by NetEnt also gave away some big winnings in September 2018. This time the cash prize came in at €3,467,888. And just months before that, Mega Fortune paid out an even bigger cash win of €5,996,418. This winner happened to be from Sweden, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed for an Aussie the next time around. This is definitely a strong possibility as the progressive Mega Fortune slots are estimated to pay out every 10 weeks or so. And with so many Aussies enjoying online casino play, that seems to make the odds look pretty good in our favor.
But maybe there was something lucky in the air for Swedes last year. Because in November, another Swede struck a massive win, this time €7,832,262.02 playing Joker Millions of pokies of Yggdrasil fame. While this wasn’t the biggest jackpot of all time, it was the biggest jackpot Joker Millions ever paid, so that’s quite the accomplishment as well.
Or perhaps it was simply an excellent year for NetEnt, whose Mega Fortunes Dreams pokies also paid out big time in 2018. If you were wondering, it was a Brit who won, walking away with a prize totaling £4,082,246.09 to be precise.
Do some online casinos have better odds for a major cash win?
In general, the casino software developers set the odds for each game, not the individual casino. That means if you see the same game in more than one online casino, it will have the same odds at both casinos. As such, it doesn’t really make a difference where you play in terms of odds. Your choice should be determined more by other factors like overall game variety, bonus offers, and customer support.
One thing that can differ between online casinos, however, and does affect your winnings is the withdrawal terms. Each casino sets its limits on how much money you can withdraw at a time and/or per month. It also has its own policy in terms of how quickly it pays. That is, some online casinos payout instantly, others in 24 hours, and others may take longer – usually up to a week or ten days at most, depending on the banking method you choose. Just to note, any online casino that we recommend certainly has above board standards on all of these fronts, but it is important to check the casino’s terms and conditions before you play to be entirely clear how you may potentially cash out on your millions in winnings.
Also, of course, there is a difference in terms of the payout rate between different game formats such as blackjack, pokies, and roulette. There is also a different return to player (RTP) for different pokies machines. In fact, each game’s RTP is calculated individually, so if you want to choose a casino game with better odds, you can use the RTP listings as your guide.
Or if you are strictly after the jackpot, then it is definitely the progressive jackpot games you should be playing, particularly the pokies. It’s true that you can accumulate big sums of money over the course of long-term play in other games – like a lot of blackjack hands. And you could land one big lucky number in roulette, though that would require you to bet a huge sum of money upfront. It is only in progressive jackpot games that a small-to-reasonable size bet could land you in the big times, that is, the place of instant millionaires. As such, it’s no coincidence really that all of the big wins of 2018 that we noted were won playing progressive pokies games. From experience, this is the game to play to land yourself on the big winners’ list, at least most of the time.
Biggest wins in the offline casinos of Las Vegas
While we tend to focus on online casinos in our reviews and articles, particularly those accessible to Australians, we also know that Australians love to travel. And one place they enjoy visiting on their travels is casinos, especially those along the Las Vegas Strip where they’ll find close to 39,000 pokies machines in 40 different establishments, with an average payout rate hovering around 93%-94%. That means relatively decent odds and an exceptional amount of choice. So when searching for the biggest Australian casino wins of 2018, it’s worth a mention of the offline casinos from which patrons walked away with big wins this past year as well.
One of the biggest payouts of 2018 happened in the month of May, spinning the reels of the very popular Megabucks pokies machine, or as some like to call it “the richest slot of all”. Brought to casinos throughout Nevada as a progressive network by International Game Technology (IGT), this baby is probably the biggest paying machine on the market, once having hit an almost unfathomable $38.7M in a single spin. This was by a player from L.A. who invested a mere $100 in the machine before turning out that profit. The May payday we’re speaking of wasn’t quick that astonishing, but it was still pretty amazing at $11.2 million. This player who won spinning at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino chose to remain anonymous, so we like to fantasize he was an Australian bloke (why not?).
Another popular IGT progressive jackpot game that works the Strip had a big winner in 2018. This lucky game – Wheel of Fortune Winning Wedges slots – paid out several life-changing jackpots, making at least a half a dozen people that we know of millionaires last year alone. For example, one player walked away from the Excalibur Hotel & Casino $1.6M richer in March, and another walked away even richer from the Silverton Casino in June.
It’s not, however, only a matter of becoming an instant millionaire this big winner stuff. Sometimes big winnings can also be considered in terms of return on investment. For example, one fine fellow walked into the Green Valley Ranch Resort in January 2018, bet exactly $1.25 on the Wheel of Fortune slots and walked away with a grand total of $440,754. Another player, the very next day, placed $60 in bets at the Wheel of Fortune Red, White, and Blue machine and within ten minutes walk away from a full $215,747 richer. Both are incredible examples of return on investment, with little money and effort staked. These types of stories go on and on, repeating themselves on an almost daily basis throughout the year. Because the truth is, while it isn’t every day that a new millionaire is made, there are plenty of big wins around. And these types of wins are inspiring as well.
Big winnings for the house
It is important to keep in mind, with wins come losses. Sometimes many. True, many individual players will win sums of money large and small. But overall, the house always wins. And the winnings of the house are huge in Australia, especially when it comes to pokies play. In offline gambling alone, pokies account for over half of the individual’s gambling losses on an annual basis. Calculated in dollars, Australians lose some $24 billion dollars (AUD) gambling each year. Work it out per person and that is around $1200 lost for each person here. This is by far the highest rate in the world; twice that of Americans and 50% higher than people in Singapore, ranked in second place.
This is not meant to get you down. It is simply a reality check to keep in mind. If you are gambling for leisure, this could well be considered a reasonable amount to spend by any account. And with all those losses there certainly are many wins. So really, it’s a balance, and a reminder to take your gambling pursuit the right way with more than one goal in mind.
Onwards and upwards – Here’s to bigger wins in 2019
As you can see, 2018 was another winning year in the casino domain. The Vegas casinos paid out big time and the casinos of Macau (though we didn’t cover them) are estimated to have paid out even more. Add to that the online casino winnings, and all we can say is “wow”. There sure is a lot of money going around, landing in the pockets of players around the world. True no Aussies that we noted made the new millionaires list. But that doesn’t mean we weren’t among the big winners. Many Australians certainly collected many cash prizes along the way, in all likelihood, every day.
Now it’s time to move onwards and upwards into what’s already proving to be a successful new year. Inspired by the big wins before, we feel a big year coming on. The pokies are hot and eager for a spin. So get out there and show the world what we’ve got. Bring the big bucks home and when you do, spread the word. We’re already building our biggest Australian casino wins of 2019 list – and we’re sure hoping you’ll be there.