Author: Joe Kizlauskas
Last Updated: 6th January 2020
The number of overall jackpot winners is growing as the online casino industry in New Jersey continues to grow.
According to figures released by the State Gaming Enforcement Division on 2nd January, in 2019 there were 611 jackpots— identified as $50,000 or more wins — at brick-and-mortar Atlantic City casinos and NJ online casinos. That’s up from 384 winners with the same criteria than in 2018.
The overall jackpot prize money has soared, from $39.9 million in 2018 to this year’s $54.7 million.
The one edge for 2018 over 2019 is that that year there were two new insta-millionaires compared to just one last year: on July 27, a “William from New Jersey” won $1.08 mm playing a $1 slot machine for the Wheel of Fortune at Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Whilst a woman playing a Wheel of Fortune Double Sapphire Gold Spin game for $10 in September 2018 had a $2.5 mm win.
Four other prizes in 2019 reached half a million, including a $804.7k Nov. 18 jackpot at Harrah’s on Wheel of Fortune with a slot play of just $1. At Resorts on Aug. 8, a lucky patron converted $1 into a jackpot of $753.7k playing an Elvis slot machine.
For the year, the top two prizes won online were the $667.8k won on a Lotusland game on March 3 at Borgata Online Casino and a $612.5k payout on Sept. 15 at Virgin Online Casino.
Seven of the top 10 online jackpot winners cashed in, four of whom were on the famous Divine Fortune machines— on four different online platforms.
Atlanta City’s Biggest Jackpots of 2019:
- July 27: $1.08 mm, Golden Nugget, Wheel of Fortune
- Nov. 18: $804.7k, Harrah’s, Wheel of Fortune
- Aug. 8: $753.7k, Resorts, Elvis
- March 3: $667.8k, BorgataCasino.com, Lotusland
- Sept. 15: $612.5k, VirginCasino.com, Wonderland
- Jan. 12: $322.6k, BorgataCasino.com, Divine Fortune
- May 8: $306.1k, GoldenNuggetCasino.com, Divine Fortune
- March 3: $300k, BorgataCasino.com, Lotusland
- Feb. 9: $295.2k, PlaySugarHouse.com, Divine Fortune
- April 28: $294.8k, ResortsCasino.com, Divine Fortune
- April 24: $292k, Harrah’s, Wheel of Fortune MegaJackpots
- Sept. 14, $283.3k, Caesars, Willy Wonka
Wins of that scale, over $280k, are extremely rare — averaging just one a month for nine casinos in Atlantic City and their associated websites. But for the year, the DGE reports more than 50 jackpots of at least $150,000, and for $100,000 almost twice as much.
The denominations for each game differ considerably, but that doesn’t mean that at the lowest levels there isn’t the occasional miracle. A Hard Rock casino patron at Quartermania Ghostbusters won $226.2k on a 1-cent bet on May 29.
Those $150,000 and up prizes were not evenly spread out, with eight in September and seven in April, but only one in October, one in July (the year’s largest jackpot, ending the 28-day drought of such big winners at any of the casinos or their websites), and only three in January.
This week, on New Year’s Eve, the last “big score” of the calendar year came as a 10-cent spin on Diamond Eternity in the Marina District Borgata paid out $154.7k.
December was rather stingy— no doubt partially due to reduced seasonal tourism— with just $3.4 mm of the $54.7 mm in jackpot payouts arriving that month for 2019.