Monday, March 31, 2014

What Happens When You Win a Jackpot?

The Southern California Gaming Guide's,, April issue has a neat article describing what happens when a player actually wins a big jackpot.  Before that, what is this publication?  This magazine is geared for the casino player here in Southern California.  It has information on the various local tribal casinos such as: where they are, driving directions, bus pickup locations and schedules, special offers, etc.  It also highlights recent jackpot and other notable prize winners (free cars, etc.).  For the local casino patron, a pretty good place to shop around if you're looking to partake in casino gaming.

In this issue, there's a short article on what happens when you win a big jackpot.  The article describes in more detail, but what happens when a large jackpot is hit boils down to a few things:
  1. Is the jackpot legitimate
  2. Pay the taxman
  3. Pay the player
What happens when a big jackpot is hit is that the machine will alert the casino and slot manufacturer (assuming a wide area progressive) that a jackpot has been won.  At that point, both the player and machine are secured by casino staff.  The machine is put out of service until the slot manufacturer's staff can verify the machine is working normally and that the jackpot result was a normal result, and not the result of an external influence.

At the same time, the player needs to wait.  But the casino will treat the player right and typically have them relax in the VIP area (as of course the player IS a VIP since they've won a big jackpot)!  They might be offered a room and other perks, but at minimum, they'll be lounging in a great spot, and will be eating some great food while awaiting verification of the jackpot.

When that is complete, its paytime!  Well, not for the player, but for the taxman.  You see, taxman wants their money (or at least know who you are and how much you have won so they know how much they'll be getting).  Depending on the jurisdiction, withholding amounts can vary.  The casino will have the player provide identification and fill out tax forms.  After that, and if there is any withholding, then the player will be given a choice to take the payout in a lump sum, or in installments.  Depending on the choice, that will impact the amount of withholding and timing of the payout.

What isn't mentioned in the article, but also another step would be the celebratory pictures and things like that, which again goes right back to the fun and excitement of winning.  The casino wants to trumpet big winners and of course the player wants to have that picture of them with their winning machine and a big cardboard check showing one and all how much they've won!  Woo Hoo!


Unknown said...

Who doesn't want to hit the jackpot? I bet most of the people at some point in time wish they could hit the lottery.
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