Las Vegas Sun

April 21, 2015

Currently: 69° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Woman hits $2.9 million jackpot on penny slot machine


Courtesy Planet Hollywood

Dorothy Reynolds, holding check, poses at Planet Hollywood with, from left, daughter Jill Crosswhite, son-in-law Gary Crosswhite and her husband, Don Reynolds, after hitting a $2.9 million jackpot on a penny slot machine.

Map of Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino

Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino

3667 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas

A California woman got an early Christmas present this week when she hit a $2.9 million jackpot on a penny slot machine at Planet Hollywood.

Dorothy Reynolds of Fallbrook, Calif., had been playing about three hours and put $500 into the Wizard of Oz machine on Tuesday when she hit the jackpot, the casino said in announcing the win.

Reynolds travels to Las Vegas twice a year with her husband, Don. On this weeklong trip, she was also joined by her daughter and son-in-law, Jill and Gary Crosswhite, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Reynolds has always been a fan of slot machines and jokingly said that her win on the Wizard of Oz machine and her name, Dorothy, “must have been meant to be.”

She plans to spend the holidays at home with her two daughters and nine grandchildren who, she said, “may be surprised at this year’s Christmas presents.”

Reynolds received the first of her earnings Thursday morning with a check for $147,000 and celebrated her win by continuing to play the slot machines with her daughter.

Once she is back home, Reynolds will decide whether to take the rest of her $2,948,494.50 winnings in one lump sum or in payments over the next 10 to 20 years.

“This is not only a place where million dollar motion pictures are filmed, it’s a place where millionaires are made,” said David Hoenemeyer, the casino’s general manager. “We are always thrilled to see our casino guests’ dreams come true.”

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 26 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. ...she was down $500 big ones after 3 hrs of play on a PENNY SLOT!!!! what's up with that!


  2. John, go back and re-read the article. It does not say that she was down $500, just that she put $500 in the machine. For all you know when she hit the jackpot she might have actually been up from her $500 starting point.

  3. husband does not look happy

  4. 500 dollars is 50,000 pennies; three hours is 3600x3= 10,800 seconds. That's about 5 pennies/second into the machine. This fact is worth a trip to the Daily Planet to see how such a rapid input rate is accomplished.

  5. Well, that is great marketing for these otherwise so many times cried down "tight penny slots". The casinos want winners in order to show the world that it is possible to win money. In fact, as we can see, it is. However, there are way more losers than winners. In order to pay out 2.9 million dollars, the casino probably scored 100x more than that before the payout.
    Same applies to progressive videopoker banks. There will be one lucky winner, and countless of losers that lost much MUCH MUCH more than the actual jackpot paid. The most misleading jackpot system of the videopoker types is the one at the Southpoint bars. 50% machines make the jackpot oftentimes race up to 3000 dollars and even more, just to hit it for one lucky player and leaving countless of other players unhappy.
    The best way would be a single slot progressive. These machines are hard to find, but in a way fair to the player willing to invest money with a chance at a hit of the jackpot.

    From Switzerland

  6. correction: 50 or more machines linked together, and not 50 per cent machines. Sorry for the miss-typing.

  7. I think you can bet $20 at a time on some of those penny machines,

    Let us know if she takes the lump sum...isn't that what the experts say to do ??...and how much is it reduced by if one takes the lump sum???

  8. It is true you can bet many dollars per play on a "penny slot". And I'm sure you have to bet max in order to get the big progressive jackpot. It wouldn't be that hard at all to be $500 down in 3 hours. She probably was feeding it $20 or $100 at a time (like most of us would) and was into it for the 500. Congratulations to her.
    Mark this date on your calendar.....mred and I agree on something!!!!

  9. From my point-of-view, there is a machine called the "penny megabucks", and if I am right it is a video-slotmachine with zillions of lines that must be played at max coin , making it a grand total of probably 3, or if I am not wrong, 5 dollars, just like the regular megabucks game needed to be played at to hit the megabucks jackpot. Or is the maximum needed 3 dollars per spin? Can't remember. All I remember is that the megabucks machine is super ultra mega tight for all winnings except the super payout. And this happens not that often....

    From Switzerland

  10. If she hadn't hit the jackpot, she'd have run through another $500 before buffet-time, and the old man would've been fit to be tied... which is what happens 99.9% of the time!


  11. I would buy myself a nice home in the valley and fill the basement with the best videopoker machines available and make it a great collection :)

  12. She was the right person at the right time. It could have been someone who just put in a $20.00 and the same result. Slot machines are done with computer programs and chips. There are over 2 and 1/2 million combos. The next spin is already pre-determined. Here saving grace was she spent 3 hours on the machine which placed her there for the correct spin. Good for her and her family. Hope I am next lol. Happy Holidays to all.

  13. If she was smart she would have stated that she lost $5,000 and then written off her gambling losses against her winnings. Losses have to be documented and what better place than in the newspaper?

  14. man in the background was playing all day and the previous day before, walking to the ATM zillion times and went only for a quick bite when this lady showed up to pick up the Grand Pay Day. I think he's gruff now :(

  15. I'm superstitious, I would think the luck drained out of the casino.

    Maybe the guy in the background is from the IRS.

    Boris should have a blog/website on Vegas, he knows more about the machines than most locals do

  16. I wish I HAD $500!

    But good for her!!!

  17. mred, during my regular visits as a tourists I see a lot of locals playing on these video slotmachines. I visit mostly locals casinos because I like them better, so and since I think there are more locals than tourists at these places, the people playing on these video slotmachines must be more locals than tourists. Are you following me? And I can say that I usually do not play such progressive slots, but next time I might give myself a shot and try out 100 dollars on a quarter wheel of fortune. I think I will try that out at the El Cortez, my favorite downtown hotel. I think that I know how hard it is to win a progressive, so it's better to consider the 100 dollars as lost by insterting the bill. Anything that comes after is a big surprise, at best. I would not try out playing such machines o a regular basis. I think some locals disagree with me on that one and burn their dollars there.Otherwise the jackpots could never get that big. But, I am not one of these feeders. It's not my thing.
    From Switzerland

  18. One can easily lose their life-savings in a twinkling at a "Penny" machine.; and I am certain that some habitues of these cleverly named "one-armed bandits" have found themselves filing for bankruptcy.

    The notion implanted in one's mind is along the lines of -- "Oh what the he**. It's just a "penny" machine. I won't lose much money playing it." Then the hapless individual discovers that the big jackpots do NOT pertain to those who are gambling for small amounts.

    To make matters far worse, the percentage of cash that the house rakes off from slot machines is directly proportional to the level of play; e.g. a $25 slot machine may have a "house advantage" of 1% but a penny machine probably has a "house advantage" of at least 10 times that !

    Re: the amount of money one can lose -- [hard core players often play two machines simultaneously] - but there are (60 x 60 =) 3,600 seconds in an a single hour and perhaps 4+ times that in an evening's excursion; meaning perhaps 15,000 seconds, equal to perhaps 10,000 wagering results for a day's play. If a total of $1 is wagered and the "house" keeps 10 cents (over the long run) then the EXPECTED average LOSS to our hapless casino denizen is $1,000. Yeas that is correct. You read that right. One Thousand dollars playing the penny machines. Indeed someone returning from a casino and remarking that they lost several hundred dollars an hour playing very low stakes is entirely unremarkable.

  19. Never underestimate little ol'lady slot machine players! Example: before my Mother passed, I would drive her to the Indian Casinos in Southern California on the weekends (she was afraid to drive freeways and strange roads). Over a few years period, her little habit of placing ONLY a $20 bill in a baggie in her purse, to win or lose with, gained over $80,000 that us girls inherited! Amazing!

    Some people are just plain lucky.

    Congratulations to the lady on the Wizard of Oz penny slots! Goes to show, even pennies can ammount to something big, wow weeee!

  20. $500 in a coupla hrs is not an unreasonable amount, even on penny slots.

    Good for her.

  21. a little advantage for overseas travellers just like me: Due to some idiotic regulations, out-of-country visitors will be charged 34% per cent of non withholding tax unless they live in a country that has a tax agreement. In my case, Switzerland, there is not such a deal, so what this means is obvious: In case somebody from Switzerland with a Swiss passport visiting Vegas would win anything over 1199 usd, this person gets taxed instantly for 34%, minus applicable tips.
    As a videopoker enthusiast, I would love to play the dollar machines and higher, but these games are unplayable for me for these reasons. A 4000 Dollar Royal Flush would only pay me something like 2800 dollars, minus perhaps 100 dollars tips for the slot person. This makes the game a highly EV- game and therefore unplayable for a normal thinking person.
    All these high limit slot sections seen in the Vegas casinos are something you can't play if you're from out-of-country. The casinos know, the players know, and it's ridiculous. To play higher than quarter machines with limited jackpots makes no sense for me, so I will stick with my full pay videopoker games. Winning or losing 1000 or so in a week is within my means, and doesn't make me a broken gambler. So it's ok. I would not even think of playing Wizzard of Ozz for that very reason. If I want to play for a big jackpot, I would play over here, where all casino winnings are absolutely TAX FREE.

    From Switzerland

  22. The son in law looks like he's dreaming about his new 4X4 pickup and bass boat. lol.

  23. Boris, even us U.S. residents are subject to taxation of large jackpots. While it is true that a $4,000 jackpot would keep me in the 15% bracket (meaning it's a $3,400 jackpot), Winning a jackpot like the one in the story will find us in the 35% or so bracket. This may be the reason one would opt to spread the payments over many years, for the possibility of paying slightly less taxes. I wonder if the State of California will be after "their" 9 1/2% or so state income tax. I'm sure they'll try.
    If it was me, I'd probably take the lump sum and change my phone number. (might buy Boris and mred a steak dinner!)
    I think Erwin is right, regarding the 4x4 and bass boat.....I think I see visions of a 60" tv and a Harley in his eyes too......

  24. Bakersfield
    Yes I heard and it makes of course sense that U.S. citizens must also pay this tax. However, there's a little difference between you and all tourists. If it's true what they told me, U.S. gamblers can deduct their annual losses accrued from the winnings and therefore will pay less taxes. A tourist, however, is being treated just like an idiot. Of all winnings over 1199usd they withhold automatically the full amount to be taxed, no matter how much money I would have put in before or after that hit, and no matter how long my stay would be. This is a ridiculous rule.
    Don't be surprised that many foreign gamblers have had enough and gamble elsewhere for the serious money.
    Also, isn't it a joke that you can win 50,000 or more playing high limit black jack but if you hit a 1200 dollar mini jackpot on a slotmachine you must pay 34 per cent????

    From Switzerland

  25. Dorothy hit the Wizard of Oz Jackpot. How fitting!

    A Christmas miracle perhaps? Congrats to her!

  26. Volatile slot payouts. The time is over. Go back to the old payout method.