Casino Denies $57 Million Jackpot Because of "Software Glitch"

Illustration for article titled Casino Denies $57 Million Jackpot Because of "Software Glitch"

Have you ever imagined how would it feel to hit a $57 million slot machine jackpot? It must be an amazing feeling. Now, what would you do if the casino denied you the prize because of a "software glitch"?

It sounds like a nightmare, but that's exactly what happened to this man, 26-year-old Behar Merlaku.

Merlaku won the big jackpot playing a slot machine at a casino in Bregenz, Austria. The machine screamed the winning, all bells, whistles and flashing lights. But when he went to claim his prize at the cashier, the casino owners said it was all a mistake, a "software glitch." They argued that the jackpot alarm went off erroneously and that Merlaku's game didn't really hit the required five matches. He only got four, they said. So instead of $57 million, he got a hundred dollars and a free meal.


A hundred dollars.

And a free meal.

Instead of fifty-seven million dollars.

I would get so mad I would torch the place down. Or at least pee on the carpet. Probably both.

The owners say it's a software glitch, but wouldn't it be possible the mistake was on the display instead of the result? Perhaps the rolling mechanism got jammed and the machine correctly called the jackpot while showing an erroneous symbol.

Obviously, Merlaku thinks that the whole thing is a ruse. He argues that, if the machine called the prize, then it is a prize and he should get his millions. That's why he has sued the company that owns the casino.


I hope he wins for real this time. [Daily Mail]
Base photo by Elaine Davis/Shutterstock

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Unfortunately, he's got no case. When you play a slot machine, you enter into sort of a EULA. First and foremost, if the machine is clearly displaying four out of the 5 required symbols for the big money he should have known something was screwey and his cell phone video will only help to prove the casino's point. Even the most ignorant gambler knows that the jackpot on a 5 reel machine is 5 symbols in a row, not 4.

Second, and probably more importantly, if slots in Austria are anything like the slots in Vegas, each and every machine has a label or a screen in the digital help (or both) very clearly stating that "Malfunction Voids All Pays". It's a CYA maneuver, but I imagine it goes to a degree of cheat prevention too.