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Reno mom hits $33 million Megabucks jackpot

Winner: ‘If you’re gonna win big, you have to play big and take a chance’

Updated Monday, April 13, 2009 | 3:35 p.m.

A Reno woman is $33 million richer after hitting the second largest Megabucks jackpot in history at a Sparks casino.

The winner has been identified as 38-year-old Rachael Renee Romanick who was playing at Terrible’s Rail City casino when she hit the jackpot.

"I really owe it to my friend," Romanick said. "I wanted to stay home, but he wanted to gamble at Rail City and convinced me to join him. I said to myself, 'Why not? If you're gonna win big, you have to play big and take a chance.'"

Romanick, who has four daughters, had been playing for only about 10 minutes when she hit the jackpot and initially had no idea she won.

"I had to ask someone if this was for real," she said. "I kind of froze because this was so unexpected."

Reno-based gaming supply company International Game Technology is the maker of the Megabucks product line, which launched in 1986.

The largest jackpot ever won was $39.7 million at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in March 2003.

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