Craig McCool / MGM Resorts International
Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 | 1:01 p.m.
If Nevada and New Hampshire regulatory authorities permit it, the “Lion’s Share” one-armed bandit that finally paid out its $2.4 million jackpot after 20 years will be shipped as the ultimate souvenir to Linda and Walter Misco, who hit the hefty payday at the slot machine Friday night at MGM Grand.
“We hope it enjoys a nice, long retirement,” MGM Resorts PR chief Gordon Absher told me. Walter had read my February story about “Lion’s Share” at LasVegasSun.com but admits that he forgot about it until he arrived at MGM Grand. He told his wife the story, and she ordered him to play it to win.
“I did what I was told,” laughed Walter. “And nothing in my life had compared to this before.” The couple, married 48 years, plan to use some of the winning for their five great-grandchildren’s college costs.
Fifty of the “Lion’s Share” slot machines were introduced in the early 1990s, but all save this one were removed by the late ’90s. The machine’s Facebook page was launched in October 2012, and the legend and worldwide cult following grew.
I played it myself after waiting in line for more than 30 minutes in February but didn’t come up lucky. MGM Grand guests traveled from all over the world — as far away as Australia — to pull the slot’s handle. Some would kiss the machine, hug it, rub it, talk to it — or bad naturedly thump and curse it to no avail.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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MGM Grand, a AAA Four Diamond resort, offers 5,044 rooms and suites.
MGM Grand features KÀ by Cirque du Soleil; Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club; and world-class entertainment at the Grand Garden Arena and Hollywood Theatre.
The resort offers signature restaurants by celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish House, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill and Michelin three star and Forbes Five Star restaurant, Joël Robuchon.
As part of its ongoing “Grand Renovation,” MGM Grand has remodeled all rooms and suites in its main tower and is adding several new experiences to its lineup including Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub, a new upscale dining/nightlife concept (coming in April 2013).
MGM Grand also features a state-of-the-art, non-smoking conference center, the Grand Spa, Cristophe Salon, "CSI: The Experience" and an inviting pool complex featuring the tantalizing daylife of Wet Republic.
Upscale accommodations include The Mansion, an exclusive hotel within the hotel; the luxurious two-story SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand; and The Signature at MGM Grand, a luxury all-suite, non-gaming hotel located adjacent to the main resort.