Every single day, thousands of gamblers sit behind slot machines in casinos, a drink never far away, often a cigarette in one hand and the other hand at the machine, frantically pushing buttons or pulling handles. Almost all of them know for sure that one day they will hit the jackpot…
But how realistic is it to think that you will win the slot machine jackpot? In the past when the machines were ‘simple’ with 3 rolls and 20 pictures on each roll, you could calculate what your chance would be winning that jackpot. Those old machines no longer exist, unless in a casino museum maybe, if such museum exists…
Nowadays, machines have random number generators (RNGs) and they are programmed to pay out based on a percentage of what they take in, which makes it practically impossible to calculate when the jackpot will fall. Besides that, a casino will never pay out 100%, in other words, a casino will never lose, but you will. According to experts, the higher amount you are playing, the higher the chance that a machine will pay out.
But what is it worth if that odd is 1 in 1.3 million? In a 1-dollar machine, this means that you will have to ‘invest’ 1.3 million dollar to get a jackpot payout. Knowing this raises the question: why do people keep on gambling on slot machines? Are they bored or are they trying to forget the misery of their daily lives of having to deal with increasing debts and not having a proper job or do they get a kick of the adrenaline rush of actually hoping to win the jackpot? Have you ever asked a slot machine player?
Someone once made the comparison of playing the lotto and playing a slot machine by trying to calculate the chance of winning. Knowing that the 1-dollar slot machines requiring higher amounts will have a lower odd, than the 10-cent slot machines or the 1-dollar lotto tickets, the conclusion, not surprisingly, was not to gamble at all. It seems that the best chance would be on a 1-dollar slot machine, hitting the jackpot once a day. But who wants to go to a casino, just waiting to hit the jackpot once for the day (and the jackpot might not appear for that day). That does not make sense.
Online gambling is the latest ‘in’ thing to do, although certain countries have forbidden this by law. Online casinos offer free slots to attract valued customers. By law, both online as well as traditional casinos are ‘forced’ to pay out. In certain gamble cities, this can be even up to 97% due to hectic competition. But still, the chance of winning the jackpot is super slim.
If you are one of the odd few who are hitting the jackpot, then please note that the jackpot is not tax free. Every amount above $ 1200 will have to be reported to IRS and if you win such a substantial amount, then you will have to identify yourself with a valid identification document. If you do not do this, then the casino will withhold the money till you have come back with a proper ID. You are also required to disclose your social security number. The amount of your win as well as your SSN will be forwarded to IRS, who will claim the tax part from you. The usual percentage taken is 28%. Amounts up to about $5,000 are being paid out per check. What is actually surprising is the fact that casinos still make use of checks and not direct deposits, which should be safer for both casino as well as the gambler.
The information above is not for you if you are not an avid gambler and if you don’t like a casino environment from time to time to play the slot machines. For those who like to try their hand in the wheel of luck, by all means, have fun and keep on dreaming about that million dollar jackpot!