Progressive Jackpot Slots

Published: 25/02/2012

Progressive jackpot slots have become the “dream makers” of casinos both online and off. By offering the highest payouts of all games available, they draw a huge numbers of players looking to strike it rich instantly. Their top prizes often exceed those of government-run lotteries. The biggest jackpots extend to seven figures or even higher.

Progressive slots often look exactly like classic slots. The big difference is a top prize that grows and grows until it is eventually won. The value of the jackpot at any given time is displayed above the machine, typically on a brightly lit marquee. The numbers are constantly growing larger, resembling an automobile’s odometer recording increasing mileage.

The cash used to fund the massive jackpot is derived from a small percentage of each wager made on the game. Over time, these tiny amounts grow large enough to turn the eventual winner into an instant millionaire. Although the odds against hitting the winning combination are extremely high, for anyone wanting to strike it rich, the potential payout is worth the expense and high risk.

Interlinking machines is what allows huge progressive jackpots to exist. All participating machines pool the funds collected. The progressive slots may be connected to other machines in a group, with other groups of machines within a single casino or with a large array of similar machines located at different casinos. The system can be thought of as a type of syndicate, with all who belong taking an equal share in the income and risk.

The world’s original progressive jackpot slot was “Megabucks,” and it became an overnight success when launched in 1986 with the most cash ever offered for a slot game—a starting jackpot of $7 million. The company who developed Megabucks was one of the world’s leading slot machine manufacturers at the time, International Game Technology (IGT), and they started out with 691 linked machines at 160 casinos in Las Vegas.

Progressive jackpot slots feature the same mechanics and electronics as traditional classic slots. Their reels spin and come to rest so that payouts are awarded for winning combinations on the center payline. To qualify to win the progressive prize, the player must bet the maximum amount allowed per spin and catch the winning alignment of specified symbols. For Megabucks, the Max Bet spin requires a wager of $3.

The identities of early progressive winners were kept secret in the formative days of seven-digit jackpots. Casinos wanted the publicity, of course, but customer privacy was more important. Nowadays, progressive games are quite common, and winners are more numerous. Games such as Quarter Million$ and Cartoon Jackpot regularly award top prizes of less than $1 million, and winners do not mind having their luck publicised. Many even have their photographs taken holding their big checks, to be displayed on the machines where they got lucky.

Today, anyone’s life can change dramatically with a single pull of the slot handle. Just 17 years after Megabucks was introduced, no fewer than 58 players had claimed to grand prize and each of them took away more than $7 million. Their jackpots combined totaled over $425 million.

Strategy is not a factor in winning a progressive jackpot. It really is about luck and good timing. The only thing to remember is Max Bet must be played to claim the big prize. It might arrive after investing just $20 in total as it did for one fortunate winner. Or it could take weeks, months and years for the dream maker to show up. The on certainty is that it can only be won by those who give progressive jackpot slots a try.

Published on: 25/02/2012

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