Katrina Bookman was enjoying a day out at Resorts World Casino in Jamaica, Queens, when she hit the largest ever slot machine jackpot in the United States. When the screen displayed Bookman had won $42,949,672, she could hardly believe it. As it turns out, she shouldn’t have — she wasn’t a millionaire, after all, ABC7 reports.
- She thought her world had changed. For Katrina Bookman, everything was about to change (or so she thought). She took a selfie with the machine and said her whole body went “numb” in disbelief. She immediately printed out the winning ticket and was told by the casino to come back the following day to discuss her winnings.
- “You didn’t win nothing.” When Bookman asked a Resorts World worker how much she’d be taking home, this was the response. As it turns out, she hadn’t won $43 million at all. She only won $2.25.
- The slot machine Bookman was playing on malfunctioned. The New York State Gaming Commission said Bookman’s machine had a fault and had malfunctioned. The winning amount that was displayed wasn’t correct at all. And while this sounds pretty unfair, the machine did have a sign that said “malfunctions void all pays and plays.” In other words, they didn’t have to pay her anything but what they decided she’d actually won.
- Resorts World Casino offered Katrina Bookman a gesture of goodwill. They weren’t going to pay her anywhere near the millions she thought she won. However, they did offer her a free steak dinner instead, which is something. Dan Bank, a spokesman for Resorts World, told CNN: “Upon being notified of the situation, casino personnel were able to determine that the figure displayed on the penny slot was the result of an obvious malfunction – a fact later confirmed by the New York State Gaming Commission. After explaining the circumstances to Ms. Bookman, we offered to pay her the correct amount that was shown on the printed ticket. Machine malfunctions are rare, and we would like to extend our apologies to Ms. Bookman for any inconvenience this may have caused.”
- Bookman wasn’t going to take this excuse lying down. It seems likely that the NY State Gaming Commission would claim there was a “malfunction” when someone won such a large amount. So, Bookman hired a lawyer and filed a lawsuit over the “ridiculous” claims. “You can’t claim a machine is broken because you want it to be broken. Does that mean it wasn’t inspected? Does it mean it wasn’t maintained?,” attorney Alan Ripka told CNNMoney. “And if so, does that mean that people that played there before [Bookman] had zero chance of winning?” The case was eventually settled out of court.