Gambling and casinos are amazing worlds where players can experience the most unforgettable moments of their lives. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of walking into your favourite lacky barry casino to spend your free time playing your favourite game and walking out with millions in cash in your pocket. That goes for land-based casinos as well as the best online casinos in the UK. There’s always the opportunity to combine the fun of the game with big winnings.
And sometimes those winnings aren’t just big, they’re huge! And some of them are even historical because they break records. In this article, we will find out what are the biggest payouts casino players in the UK have ever won.
The biggest winnings in history
The list presented will bring together the biggest winnings at land-based and online casinos in the UK, so that a fan of each can get a feel for just how big the prizes can be taken out of these venues.
We’ll start our list of lucky winners with Mr John Hayward, a British soldier who spent 25p to play his favourite slot machine, Mega Moolah. Mr Hayward was the luckiest of all, as he won a jackpot of £13.2 million, which was approximately $20.8 million at the time.
Mr Elmer Sherwin (who, originally from Britain) won a jackpot of 4.6 million playing the Megabucks slot machine in 1989. And sixteen years after his success, Mr Elmer won another $21.1 million playing the same slot machine.
Among the richest poker players in the world is Briton Sam Trickett. The 34-year-old, who used to be a professional footballer, is the most successful poker player in the UK. His winnings in all tournaments to date totalled more than $19 million in 2014.
Here is an exciting prize that was won thanks to playing at an online casino in Britain. A lucky Cambridge online gambler who spent €25 euros playing his favourite online slot machine (Mega Fortune) from renowned e-gaming provider NetEnt managed to snag an astonishing €17.8m jackpot in 2013.
In 1998, a lucky pensioner from Bristol went to an online casino to spend her leisure time with a budget of $100. The woman spent all the money, but it turned out to be a good investment in the end. She won a fortune of $27.6 million that night.
In 2000, the life of 37-year-old waitress Cynthia J Brennan changed in the blink of an eye. The lady, who had led a modest lifestyle of saving up for her wedding, was lucky enough to hit a mouth-watering jackpot of some $34.9 million. Ms Brennan was gambling in Britain when she won the prize by playing one of the casino machines.
Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer (1937-2005) won £7 million in blackjack in one month at a London casino. By contrast, Sir Philip Green, former UK clothing tycoon (owner of bankrupt Arcadia Group) won £2 million in one night playing roulette in a London casino in December 2004.
Next on our list is an anonymous British online winner known as ‘Lucky Peter’. Playing his favourite progressive jackpot, the lucky player won an impressive NOK 117 million. Lucky Peter’s prize of $38 million is considered one of the biggest jackpot winnings in online casino history. Peter’s identity remains unknown.
Unlike previous jackpots, which were mostly based on one-off winnings, this jackpot has a very different story. The story is that of Anargyros Nikolas Karabourniotis, commonly known as Archie Karas, a brilliant Greek immigrant who was a gifted player, high roller and a great poker player. Mr Karas is known for having the biggest and longest documented winning streak in the history of casino gambling. He has beaten poker greats in Britain and Vegas such as Puggy Pearson, Johnny Moss and Stu Ungar.
In December 1992, Karas went to London with $50 and by 1995 had turned a $10,000 loan into more than $40 million.
Mike Ashley, the billionaire owner of football club Newcastle United, won £1.3 million playing roulette in a London casino in 2008. The win came after a single spin of the roulette wheel and the lucky number was 17.
The world of land-based and online casinos in Britain is full of wonderful stories and big winnings that sound like fairy tales, but they are all real and have happened to real players. But at the end of the day, you must not forget that gambling is only for entertainment, not for making money. No one can deny that, if you’re lucky, you may become the owner of a small fortune. But that shouldn’t be your main goal, because you run the risk of ending up with nothing and debts.
Underage gambling is an offence. You must be over 18 years old to gamble.
Any form of gambling should always be fun, playing in a way that is right for you. It’s good to set limits, take time out or set up reminders.
Please gamble responsibly and in moderation.
For more information on the tools available to help to keep you safe or if you want advice or support you can call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 (England, Scotland and Wales or visit Gamblingtherapy.org).