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December 19, 2014

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N.H. couple hope $2.4 million ‘Lion’s Share’ slot machine will be shipped to them as gift

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Craig McCool / MGM Resorts International

Linda and Walter Misco of Chester, N.H., won the $2.4 million jackpot from the legendary “Lion’s Share” slot machine at MGM Grand on Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, on the Strip. The jackpot had not been won in 20 years.

‘Lion’s Share’ Slot Machine Winners

Linda and Walter Misco of Chester, N.H., won the $2.4 million jackpot from the legendary “Lion’s Share” slot machine at MGM Grand on Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, on the Strip. The jackpot had not been won in 20 years. Launch slideshow »

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.

Until now.

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.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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