Megabucks curse
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The Megabucks Curse 

If you appreciate the supernatural, then this article won’t make you reevaluate your beliefs. We all know that many gamblers are superstitious. This not only is about the hopes of winning. But also about having something to blame for when things don’t go their way on the casino gaming floor. One of these is the Megabucks curse. Even if you believe in magic, witches, and spells, there’s still little to no evidence to support the existence of this specific one.

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The MegaBucks Curse: The Sad Tale Of Cynthia Jay-Brennan

In the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, which is now home to Wynn and Encore, the 37-year-old cocktail waitress by the name of Cynthia Jay-Brennan won a Megabucks slot jackpot in March 2000. The sum was close to $35 million. She decided to tour the world once she married her fiancé. Yet only six weeks later, Jay-Brennan’s car was rear-ended while it was stopped at a red light by intoxicated driver Clark Morse. He had been in 16 prior accidents. Cynthia’s sister, Lela Anne Jay, 45, was killed in the incident, and Jay-Brennan’s spine was broken.

The 58-year-old Morse was given a 28-year prison term. Jay-Brennan’s lower chest remains paralysed permanently. Her jackpot has been drained of much of the money due to the huge medical costs. In truth, the factual evidence for the so-called Megabucks curse is very much limited to this barely credible “Twilight Zone” horror story.

What Is MegaBucks?


The term “Megabucks” refers to a network of tens of thousands of slot machines spread over hundreds of Nevada casinos. Every time someone spins the Megabucks reels, a small amount of the wager adds itself to a jackpot that’s always up for grabs. When someone is fortunate enough to line up all three Megabucks symbols on a pay line on a slot machine, they will receive a payout that starts at $10 million and rises by a few cents per second. The amount increases as the time between jackpots decreases. For those looking for an online casino to win a progressive slot prize, then head over to Bovada Casino.

In the past, Nevada casinos were losing customers to state lotteries that offered mega-million prizes. As well as racetracks that offered huge pay-out parlay wagers. So jackpot slots manufacturer International Gaming Technologies (IGT) developed Megabucks in March 1986. The wide-area linked-progressive slot machine system was the first of its kind in the world.

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The Unknown Record Megabucks Winners

You must place the highest possible pay-line wager on a spin of the Megabucks slot machine in order to increase your jackpot winning chances. After that, all three Megabucks icons need to appear. During the NCAA Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas in March 2003, a 25-year-old male software programmer from Los Angeles transformed a $100 Megabucks slot spin into $39.7M at the Excalibur Casino. The record still stands today. He was intelligent, which is why we don’t know his name. In the same manner, you too can have the option to request anonymity. This helps keep distant relatives and ex-friends from pestering you for money to pay off their debts. Or support their brilliant new app ideas. However, it won’t hide you from the IRS, who always want their cut.

Anonymity Drives Gossip

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Yet, choosing anonymity does have a drawback. It enables the spread of false information and fake stories about you and your situation across the internet. The public cannot follow the life events of a record MegaBucks winner, simply because his name is unknown. So, online commenters add their own spin to stories like that with Jay-Brennan’s to fill in the gaps. For example, the software developer was found dead shortly after winning due to a drug overdose at the Palms. Or maybe it was due to gang violence. Or an aeroplane crash. T

These fake stories spread swiftly and widely. Such was the case of the anonymous software engineer. Going against its own rules, IGT announced the winner was still alive and thriving in a press release. Now those of you with aluminium foil hats will still insist that they would say that as they want you to continue having fun playing their jackpot games!

The MegaBucks Curse Satisfies Negative Sentiments From Sore Losers

In reality, the Megabucks curse or myth has a psychological benefit. According to Anthony Lucas, a professor of casino management at UNLV, and a former operations analyst for the gaming industry, it may act as a consolation prize for some people. It’s a means of finding psychological solace from the roughly 49,999,999 out of every 50,000,000 spins that fail to produce the top prize. The winners of state lotteries are subject to almost the same misconception. “The tales we tell are our method of mentally chewing over things that disturb us, and very few feel at all comfortable with the realisation of their feeling envious,” according to Snopes, which, it should go without saying, ascribes its “false” classification to the Megabucks curse.

The MegaBucks Curse: Better Things To Worry About

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Even if the Megabucks curse really was true—which, by this time, you well know doesn’t – you should be thinking more about being hit by lightning. Keep in mind, you have a one in 1.2 million chance of finding yourself lit up like a Christmas tree in a thunderstorm in any given year. That’s according to the National Weather Service. The odds are around 1 in 50 million times that you will land a Megabucks win on any one spin. This is 41 times less probable. Or rather you have a 41 times bigger chance of feeling a bolt of lightning between your ears.

“To use your analogy, it’s like getting struck by lightning while sitting on your living room couch,” Lucas said. Mind you. The odds of winning the Mega Moolah at Bovada Casino stand at 1 in 146,500,000!

What About All The Other MegaBucks Winners?

In total, 22 players have taken home Megabucks prizes with each totalling more than $10M over the past 16 years. Megabucks is only available in a land-based casino, so you can’t win the jackpot online. There is no way to prove that the vast majority of them have experienced extremely terrible things. Simply because the majority opted to maintain their anonymity. Or that they haven’t. Yet the issue is irrelevant. If you spend enough time with a group of 22 random non-Megabucks winners, many of them will experience really terrible things.

Lightning Can Strike Twice

One Megabucks winner who didn’t opt to stay anonymous managed to buck the negative Cassandras by experiencing an exceptionally positive outcome. On the inaugural day of the Mirage in 1989, Elmer Sherwin, a 76-year-old retired World War II veteran, scored a $4.6M hit. Jump forwards to 2005, and having defied “the curse” and lived to the age of 92, he won a second $21.1 million Megabucks jackpot at the Cannery. “Now that’s like getting struck by lightning while sitting on your living room couch without a cloud in the sky,” Lucas said.

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