The Biggest Wins In Online Gambling
Imagine what it would feel like to spin a slot machine in a casino and win so much money you never had to work again. Imagine playing a progressive slots game online, from your comfort of your living room, and the result being a cheque for such a huge amount of cash your life was transformed in an instant.
Those two scenarios are both plausible. They’ve both happened and similar events continue to happen every year, as online gambling casinos and the brick and mortar kind pay out huge jackpots to some of the luckiest, and in some cases smartest, people on the planet.
On this page we’re going to tell you about some of the biggest ever wins at online real money casinos and land-based venues. We’ll break down by category:
- Digital slots
- Online poker
- Poker (land-based)
- Slots (land-based)
- Sports bets
Biggest online slots wins
Let’s start with some incredible online gambling wins and we begin with a 2020 victory for a 40-something from Finland. This man was playing a progressive jackpot online slots game called Mega Fortune when he took the jackpot of €17,861,800.
For those who don’t know, progressive jackpot games build a big communal pot from games played over a set period of time. When that jackpot is released it can amount to a seriously big win, as it did in this remarkable case.
If you’re looking for a UK success story, check out the tale of John Orchard from Lincolnshire. He was playing a themed Batman slots game called the Dark Knight online when he landed a jackpot win of £5,833,044. Suffice to say Mr Orchard quit his job and started living the high life.
Biggest online poker wins
There is no doubting the fact that big jackpot progressive slots account for a high number of huge online gambling wins, but millions are made online in other games too. Take the World Championships of Online Poker, for example. Each year the Main Event pays out over $1 million to the winner, with American Tyson Marks taking home over $2.2 million when he won in 2020.
Some of the world’s best online gambling poker players have made millions at the virtual tables. American Phil Ivey’s career winnings online are said to be close to $20 million. And then there’s the story of Chris Moneymaker, who qualified online and went on to win the 2003 World Series of Poker, collecting $2.5 million in prize money.
Biggest win playing roulette at a casino
Taking inflation into account we have to talk about the incredible 1891 winning streak achieved by Charles Deville Wells in Monte Carlo here. Famous as being one a group of gamblers who “broke the bank”, Wells took home one million French francs in a blistering roulette run.
That’s a staggering huge pot in today’s money and it included a spate of 23 winning bets on 30 spins. Wells won so much money that the casinos didn’t have enough chips at the roulette table to pay him out. This was said to happen twelve times in total.
Biggest sums won playing land-based poker
The launch of the World Series of Poker tournament has produced some of the richest poker wins ever recorded. Perhaps surprisingly, the biggest of these victories have been not been achieved in the WSOP Main Event tournament, but in an event called Big One for One Drop
In 2020, American player Antonio Esfandiari claimed a first prize of $18,346,673 at the Big One for One Drop. Two years later, in 2020, his countryman Daniel Colman took home a cool $15,306,668 from the same tournament stop.
The biggest win at the WSOP Main Event belongs to Jamie Gold, an American player who scooped $12 million in 2006. Sweden’s Martin Jacobson pocketed $10 million at the tour finale in 2020.
Biggest slot machine wins at a land-based casino
We go to Las Vegas for perhaps the most stunning casino win of them all. In 2003 an anonymous player took on the Megabucks slot machine at the Excalibur Hotel Casino, and put around $100 for spins credit to claim a victory of $39,719,982.25.
The win was recorded as a world-record at the time and was obvious a life changer for the man, who was previously working as a software engineer. We say “previously” as you’d have to imagine a win like that makes you reconsider the rigours of your day job.
In 2020, a Megabucks machine was again responsible as another man collected a jackpot of $14 million at the Rampart Casino in Las Vegas. It was reported he had purchased just $20 in credits, which makes this won one of the greatest returns in gambling history.
Biggest lottery wins
If any gambling activity was synonymous with fantastical jackpot wins it would have be lottery play. The very idea of winning a life-changing amount is, after all, the main reason most people around the world play the lottery.
In 2020 a U.S. winner collected a real cash payout of $474 million playing America’s Mega Millions game. That represents the record lottery win anywhere, ever.
In Europe the biggest lottery win stands at £161.7 million, which was collected by an English couple playing the EuroMillions lottery game in 2020.
Biggest sporting online betting wins
Where else to start but horse racing? In 1996 an Englishman named Darren Yates staked just under £70 on the jockey Frankie Dettori to win all seven races on Champions Day at Ascot. Low and behold Dettori did it and Yates found himself in the money to the tune of £550,823.
In 2008 a 50 pence eight-horse accumulator bet by a man named Fred Craggs won the man from Yorkshire a cool £1 million. The odds of that bet coming in were 2,000,000-1 according to the Daily Mirror.
Switching across to American football, we have the story of big-time gambler Billy Walters, who staked $3.5 million on the New Orleans Saints to beat the Indianapolis Colts and win Super Bowl XLIV. His bet came good and he won $3.5 million.