According to the website for Megabucks, the odds of obtaining the jackpot are less than one in ten million. Elmer Sherwin was undoubtedly the wealthiest man in the area at the time, as he won their windfall not once, but twice.
Sherwin was the only person in Megabucks’s history to accomplish this. His two jackpot victories occurred nearly sixteen years apart, and he won a combined total of more than $25 million.
The Opportunity of a Lifetime
Sherwin had always liked wagering and the adrenaline he obtained from participating in casinos. He began wagering as soon as he was mature enough to enter a casino, but he never won a significant sum of money until he was nearly seventy-six.
Sherwin and his wife were journeying around the country in their mobile home when they decided to make a halt in Las Vegas to visit family. During their stay, Sherwin would take $100 per week to the local casinos to attempt his luck. Sherwin and his wife made it a point to attend the formal inauguration of the Mirage Hotel and Casino, where his budget of one hundred dollars vanished almost immediately.
He pleaded with his wife for twenty additional dollars so he could play the Megabucks machine one more time.
International Game Technology’s Megabucks is a dollar slot machine with a progressive jackpot that requires a $3 wager to win the top reward. After a jackpot is won, the jackpot resets to $7 million and proceeds to grow until someone aligns up the Megabucks symbols again.
Sherwin defied the odds and won the $4.6 million windfall, despite the fact that his chances of winning were low. Sherwin has always had a passion for travel, and after he won, he used his winnings to traverse the globe and visit all the locations he had always wanted to see but could never afford. Sherwin carried a photograph of his first victory in his pocket so he could share his tale with everyone he encountered.
Since his previous victory, Sherwin had a desire to triumph again, but not for the reasons one might anticipate. “I was not motivated by money. I aimed for the honor of striking it twice. Because I knew nobody had done it before. Sherwin stated, “Lotteries and other things, sure, but not the megabucks.”
The Opportunity of a Lifetime 2.0
Sherwin decided to play the Megabucks slot machine at the Cannery Casino & Hotel in Las Vegas for what seemed like the millionth time on September 16, 2005. Sherwin has always relished playing the Megabucks slot machines because he has typically won at least a portion of the lesser prizes. This day was different though, this day he would walk away winning the windfall and over twenty-one million dollars in prize money.
Immediately after winning his second Megabucks jackpot, Sherwin sat behind the machine with a modest expression on his face. Crowds encircled him, forcing him to escape to a nearby restaurant until the confirmation of his lottery win five hours later.
Sherwin contributed a sizeable portion of his winnings to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and shared the remainder with his family, including his son and daughter-in-law in Las Vegas. The fortunate victor simply could not resist shocking his family with his triumph. He intended to inform them of his win via the news because he desired to see the shock on their expressions.