42-year-old Veronica Castillo was overjoyed when her gambling paid off, hitting an $8.5 million jackpot. However, her dreams were crushed just five minutes later when casino staff told her that the payout was a machine error.
The loan officer from Portland, Oregon, was at Lucky Eagle Casino in Rochester, Washington, when she put $100 in the slot machine. With her mother playing alongside her, the payout was an unexpected and joyous surprise.
She told KOIN: “I was very excited and happy. Then, I couldn't believe it. The casino staff came over and told her the machine had made an error and malfunctioned. They shut off the machine, took it away, printed out a ticket and gave me $80.”
Casino machines usually have a malfunction sticker that voids all plays and pays.
Castillo said, “To me, it's cheating, may even be fraudulent. My first thought was, how many people has this happened to? They think they've won, then go away empty-handed.”
Casino CEO John Setterstrom stated that the casino had never experienced such an incident since its opening in 1995, and that he will be seeking answers as to how such a mistake occurred.
The casino released the following statement regarding the incident:
“Rocket Gaming Systems, the machine manufacturer, is in the process of conducting a forensic investigation to determine the cause of the display malfunction that occurred on the machine Ms. Castillo was playing. Rocket has not yet been able to determine how the error occurred although it is absolutely clear that the gaming machine played by Ms. Castillo experienced a display malfunction: This machine offers a maximum jackpot of $20,000 if a maximum bet is placed on all lines. The maximum jackpot that Ms. Castillo could have won based on the number of lines and credits she was betting is $6,000.”
Joseph Dupuis from the Casino said, “We deeply regret that Ms. Castillo temporarily experienced an incorrect credit display while the machine began its process of metering down after the display malfunction, and have offered her a weekend stay in one of our suites as our guest, as well as dining at the property and free play included.”
Ms. Castillo is planning to hire an attorney, and wrote on her Facebook page: “What I expect at the very least, is to create awareness about how the casinos work, when the players get the big winnings!”