Walk the floors of any casino in Las Vegas, and there’s something magical about the atmosphere.
So many lives have been changed in each of those spaces. The beauty of gambling is that everything can change on the next bet. We showcase the stories of some lucky gamblers who scored the biggest known wins across a range of different games in Las Vegas.
Craps: William Bergstrom and His Suitcase
Las Vegas is a land of big dreams and ambition.
Perhaps one of the most audacious moves ever performed in Sin City, however, was executed by William Bergstrom in 1980. Known colloquially as ‘the Phantom Gambler’, William Bergstrom walked into the Binion’s Casino on September 24 1980 carrying two suitcases. One was packed with $777,000 cash; the other was empty.
Just minutes later, Bergstrom had bet big on craps, won, and filled his empty suitcase. The man simply got up and left with two bags full of cash.
Slots: Anonymous Winner at Excalibur Casino
Imagine—you’re in your mid-20s working as a software engineer in California, and you take a trip over to Las Vegas for the weekend to catch some NCAA basketball.
Sounds like a fairly standard weekend. That is until you come back $39.7 million richer.
This is exactly what happened to one anonymous 25-year-old who placed a bet on the Megabucks slot machine at the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas. A simple $100 bet was all it took to drastically change the course of his life in March 2003.
If you fancy putting yourself in the shoes of this lucky gambler, then you’re in luck. To play slots now, it’s not even necessary to attend a casino in-person; https://www.americancasinoguide.com/ has a full rundown of all the best online casinos for slots and any other casino game that you would like to play.
Roulette: MTV Makes a Big Splash in Vain
We’ve all dreamed of solving our financial problems by simply heading to Las Vegas and hitting a hot streak on the roulette table, turning our initial bet into a fortune.
That’s precisely what MTV tried to do in 2010 when the cast of their show ‘Buried Life’ traveled to Las Vegas with the goal of making $1 million. Taking $125,000, they bet on roulette, looking to double their money three times and successfully generate $1 million.
Initially, they were successful, turning their $125,000 into $250,000 with their first bet. They then made the largest roulette bet in Las Vegas history, wagering a quarter of a million on black. The bet was unsuccessful, however, and the crew went home empty-handed—well, not quite, as the Golden Gate Casino gave them $50,000 to donate to charity.
Blackjack: Kerry Packer’s Big Night
Extravagant, high-rolling businessmen are what makes Las Vegas such a fascinating place to do business.
On the one hand, these cash cows are what keep the city ticking over, spending all their cash on an array of entertainment or any of the new dining options that appears all the time. On the other hand, they can be a casino’s worst nightmare.
Kerry Packer was the latter when he took the MGM Grand by storm in the late 1930s. Heading to the blackjack table, Packer infamously bet $500,000 a hand for the whole night, winning a total of $26 million. This barnstorming evening led Packer to be banned from the facility, along with other Las Vegas casinos.