Microgaming has a reputation for breaking new ground when it comes to online progressive jackpots. They pioneered the category by introducing the first wide-area progressive jackpot slot game, Cash Splash, in 1998 and then developed their own online Progressive Jackpot Network (PJN) in 2001.
Over the next several years, Microgaming launched video versions of popular three-reel progressives, followed in 2006 by the company’s first Multi-tiered Million Dollar Progressive—Mega Moolah. By 2010, PJN had paid out over €300 million to more than 7,200 winners, including 13 “instant” millionaires.
Along the way, one of the unique innovations brought by Microgaming to the world of huge online jackpots was the world’s first progressive video slot with a fixed value €0.05 credit denomination. Making its debut in August of 2004, “King Cashalot” was configured as a five-reel, nine-line game with a medieval theme. Its brightly hued artwork is replete with golden dragons, beautiful damsels, sumptuous feasts and a host of colourful characters, all supported by stunning audio effects.
King Cashalot slots feature a single credit denomination of €0.05, allowing up to five credits to be bet per line for a maximum bet of 45 credits or €2.25. The game is initiated by clicking “Spin.” Winnings appear by clicking the View Payout button at the top right of the screen, while Credits available show in the lower left corner and Total Bet is displayed below reels four and five. Use of the Autoplay allows repetition of 5 or 10 bets and can be accessed by clicking on the “Expert” toggle to change modes.
Players can win payouts by lining up three or more Fruit Plates, Gelatin Moulds, Shrimp Cocktails, Roast Turkeys or Ham Platters. Higher awards come from combinations of Damsels, Knights, Queens or Kings on an active payline. The King symbol is wild on all reels and doubles the line payout, substituting for any symbol except the Joker scatter or Dragon bonus symbols.
The highest possible line payout is received for five consecutive King symbols, worth 15,000 times the line bet. If that particular combination occurs on the ninth payline, the progressive jackpot is awarded, starting at no less than €100,000 and sometimes rising to a high six figures. The highest ever jackpot won on King Cashalot was €995,340.
Other payouts range from 2X to 1,500X multipliers. Obtaining five Scattered Jokers pays 50 times the total bet, while 4, 3 or 2 award 5X, 2X and 1X, respectively. The “Treasure Bonus” feature on King Cashalot slots is activated by three Dragon symbols appearing on reels 2, 3 and 4. The regular game is suspended, and the scene shifts to the King’s Treasure Vault, where eight different bulging chests can be found, locked tight.
Generous King Cashalot himself is on hand in the vault to offer the player three opportunities to pick a chest to keep or else to pick again. The wins are a multiple of the total amount wagered on the qualifying spin, ranging from 2X to 24X, so it requires a bit of thought as to when to keep one and when to discard the reward and try for a higher amount.
King Cashalot is rated as a game of “high” volatility, meaning that although it cannot be expected to pay out often, but the amounts awarded can be truly life changing. The fact that the King symbols doubles the payouts for winning line bets makes for some very lucrative wins on the lesser combinations.