When it comes to progressive slot games, Microgaming certainly comes to mind first. They pioneered the category by introducing the Internet’s very first wide-area progressive jackpot slot game, Cash Splash, in 1998. By 2001, Microgaming had created its own its own online Progressive Jackpot Network (PJN) and Casino Player magazine judged the company’s slots and progressive games as the best in the business.
Video versions of popular three-reel progressives were launched in 2004 and then came the company’s first Multi-tiered Million Dollar Progressive—Mega Moolah—in 2006. The idea of becoming an instant millionaire certainly had broad appeal. It did not take long for Microgaming’s progressive jackpot payouts to exceed €146 million spread between a total of 5,675 winners.
Then, in 2009, a sequel to Mega Moolah debuted—Mega Moolah 5-Reel Drive—combining the tiered progressive feature of the company’s “cash cow” along with one of its earliest successful five-reel slots. It was followed by Mega Moolah Summertime and Mega Moolah Isis, with vacation and Egyptian themes, respectively.
By 2010, PJN had paid out over $280 million to more than 7,200 winners, including 13 “instant” millionaires. Among the lucky ones was a single payout in May 2009 on Mega Moolah for €6.37 million, making it the biggest jackpot in Internet history. There can be little wonder why this particular game has had such a lasting presence online and continues to be referred to as the “gold standard” of progressives till this day.
The original Mega Moolah slot has an African jungle theme and features a five-reel, 25-payline format. Apart from being the biggest progressive slot offered by Microgaming, with a base jackpot of $1 million plus three other jackpots, one of its major attractions is that Mega Moolah’s top prize can be won with any bet. Additionally, there is a Free Spins bonus with all wins tripled.
Winning combinations on Mega Moolah slots can be obtained by matching three or more traditional card symbols, Tens through Aces, on any payline. Higher awards can be won with three or more Giraffes, Zebras or Antelopes lined up, and still higher rewards come from combinations of two or more Water Buffalo, Elephant or Wild Lion symbols. The latter can substitute for any symbol except the Monkey Scatter symbol and it doubles the line win.
The Mega Moolah slot game features credit denominations ranging from $0.01 to $0.05, with betting of 1 to 5 credits per line up to a maximum bet of $6.25. The value of each credit is adjustable by clicking on the +/1 toggles under the first reel. To start the game, click “Spin.” Winnings appear in the “Win” display beneath the fifth reel, while the current balance shows in the lower left corner of the screen.
The very highest line payout is awarded for five consecutive Wild Lion symbols, worth 15,000 times the line bet. Other payouts range from 2X to 1,500X multipliers. The game’s progressive jackpot feature is triggered randomly. When it occurs, the player must spin a Carnival Wheel to see which of four prizes will be awarded—the Mega Jackpot starting at $1 million, the Major Jackpot beginning at $10,000, the Minor Jackpot from $100 or the Mini Jackpot from $10. Owing to the way all of the jackpots are interlinked, betting more improves the chances of winning one of the four progressive amounts.
Payouts are made for 2, 3, 4 or 5 Monkey Scatter symbols on any of the reels at rates of 2X, 3X, 20X and 100X, respectively. Catching three or more Monkey Scatter symbols initiates the Free Spins mode, worth 15 free spins at triple odds. The free spins can be retriggered, too, and a top payout of 225,000 credits is possible.