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In February 2013 a 40 year-old man from Helsinki in Finland smashed the world record

There are many stories around of people who have won life-changing amounts of money in casinos. Some of the stories are real; some are semi-truths-cum-legends. Of course, what these stories don’t tell are the millions of smaller tales about people who continually lost more than they could afford to and ended up on skid row because, after all, the house does always win.
Casino Night at the Pan Pacific Vancouve by FreeRishad, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  FreeRishad 
But there are, nevertheless, some remarkable tales of derring-do, skill, strategy and, of course, pure unbelievable luck – and they do give us all hope.

In February 2013, for example, a 40 year-old man from Helsinki in Finland smashed the world record pay-out for an online casino with a progressive slot machine win of €17,861,813! The lucky Finn was playing for 25 cent stakes on a Mega Fortune slot.

So the crazily large wins do exist and it surely will only be a matter of time before one of the top 10 real online casinos around the world tops even this record as the popularity of online casinos seems to show little sign of slowing down. The previous world record online casino jackpot had only been set two years earlier with an anonymous Scandinavian punter landing a huge win of €11,700,000 – also via a progressive slot jackpot..

Or how about American woman Cynthia Jay-Brennan who, on the 26th January 26, 2000, wagered $27 in a real “Megabucks” slot machine at the Las Vegas Desert Inn and landed herself a win of $34,959,458!? Similarly, 12 years earlier in November 1998, a 65 year-old retired air stewardess landed herself a staggering $27,582,539 on another Megabucks slot machine – this time at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino in Vegas. But get this; the very same woman had won over $680,000 just a month earlier at the same casino when playing the Wheel of Fortune!

Meanwhile, the author Michael Konick, in his book: “The Man with the $100,000 Breasts and Other Gambling Stories” tells the story of an octogenarian jockey known as Fast Eddie who - on four separate occasions – managed to gamble $100 up to more than $250,000.

More recently in the UK, a Lincolnshire man managed to set a new world record for an online bingo win, winning close to £6 million via a progressive jackpot pay-out. The 60 year-old, John Orchard, beat the previous record set by a 36-year-old Greek businessman 'Georgios M', who won €6.3million in an online casino.

Or how about another Greek epic tale – this time the one of the story of Greek-American Archie Karas who, during the early 1990s, when gambling in Las Vegas with $10,000 he’d borrowed, won against 15 of the world's best poker players in a tournament at Binion's Horseshoe casino. He then moved onto the craps tables where his winning run continued until, by the time he quit, he was up by over $17 million.

So it can be done – but it always owes a huge amount to sheer luck. Still - the prospects of a life-changing win are what keep us all coming back; just keep the stakes small and affordable – and have good luck!

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