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April 24, 2017

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Megabucks closes in on record jackpot

MEGABUCKS RECORDS

If the Megabucks slot jackpot were hit today, it would be the second largest in history. Here are the top Megabucks jackpots, who hit them, when and where:

Anonymous 67-year-old Las Vegas woman, Nov. 15, 1998, at the Palace Station.

Anonymous 49-year-old Illinois man, June 1, at Caesars Palace.

Suzanne Henley of Las Vegas, April 14, 1997, at New York-New York.

John Howard Tippin of Honolulu, Jan. 27, 1996, at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Anonymous Las Vegas resident, Aug. 13, 1996, at the Monte Carlo.

Anonymous Las Vegas resident, Oct. 18, 1995, at the Gold Coast.

Delores Adams of Sacramento, May 30, 1992, at Harrah's Reno.

It could be an awesome stocking-stuffer for slot players.

The jackpot on the Megabucks progressive machines has topped $25,6 million. That's just $2 million shy of the all-time record hit in Las Vegas a little over 13 months ago.

Megabucks links 157 casinos throughout Nevada. Its jackpot climbs each time a dollar is wagered in one of the machines.

The game can be played by anyone who is 21 or older. To be eligible for the main jackpot, a player has to bet $3 per play. To win, the Megabucks symbols must line up on either the third pay line of a three-line machine or on the lone center line of a one-line machine.

Slot expert John Robison said in the Chance and Circumstance gambling newsletter this summer that the chance of hitting Megabucks is 1 in 49,836,032 spins of the reels.

As the jackpot climbs a few cents for every dollar played on the 713 machines in 153 Nevada casinos, play increases. That in turn increases the possibility that one of the slots will hit.

The game can be played by anyone who is 21 or older. To be eligible for the main jackpot, a player has to bet $3 per play. To win, the Megabucks symbols must line up on either the third pay line of a three-line machine or on the lone center line of a one-line machine.

However, gambling experts and critics warn that gamblers should consider the astronomical odds against hitting Megabucks before playing. Also, because it requires an investment of several dollars per play, Megabucks can get expensive.

Still, the lure of becoming an instant millionaire is too great for many people to pass up.

The last time the jackpot hit was on June 1 when a 49-year-old self-employed business consultant from Illinois won $21.3 million at Caesars Palace.

On Nov. 15, 1998, a 67-year-old Las Vegas woman won the world's largest slot jackpot of $27.6 million on a Palace Station Megabucks machine.

Both winners declined to release their names to the public.

Winners have the option of being paid in installments over 25 years or receiving a greatly reduced lump-sum payment, Fox said.

A winner of a jackpot greater than $10 million generally moves into the top (30 percent to 35 percent) tax bracket, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

The winner generally pays greater than $150,000 a year in taxes unless tax shelters such as charities, interest on land and houses or business investments are established.

The main Megabucks jackpot has been hit 48 times, paying off more than $267 million.

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