Lion's Share jackpot MGM Grand

The Lion’s Share slot machine paid a jackpot of over $2.4 million after a 20-year wait. (Image: MGM Grand)

The Lion’s Share slot machine at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas has a long history of keeping a tight hold on its jackpot. For 20 years, customers had come in and tried to line up the lucky combination that would earn them the progressive jackpot that had eluded so many others. Now, finally, one New Hampshire couple has sent the machine into retirement by claiming one of Las Vegas’ most fabled prizes.

Walter and Linda Misco won over $2.4 million by claiming the progressive jackpot on Lion’s Share, the MGM Grand’s last progressive jackpot slot machine. The couple had started by putting $100 in the machine, and about five minutes later, they spun themselves a jackpot.

“I had seen a story about the machine online and my wife and I walked by the machine when we arrived,” said Walter Misco, a 66-year-old retiree. “She said, ‘You have to play this machine and win on this machine.’ So I was just following orders from the boss.”

Husbands, take note: it occasionally pays off to listen to your wife.

Popular Machine Drew Crowds For Years

The Miscos almost missed out on their big win. Earlier in the evening, they turned away from the machine after seeing a line of five people waiting to play it. But after taking in a Criss Angel show at the Luxor, they returned to find the machine vacant. After a few small wins ran up their balance to $127, Walter was able to line up the three emblems to claim the machine’s top prize.

The fact that the Lion’s Share jackpot had not been hit in two decades is all the more surprising considering that the machine is the most popular one on the MGM Grand’s floor. According to reports, it was being played at a rate of almost once every five seconds before the jackpot was hit.

“This game probably gets played about five times more than our average game on the casino floor,” said Justin Andrews of MGM Grand. “Our staff gets asked every single day, multiple times, where this game is, from people who haven’t played it before.”

Lion’s Share Legend Included Twitter Account

Lion’s Share didn’t offer the largest jackpot in all of Las Vegas, but the length of time it had been played without anyone hitting the top prize had turned the machine into something of a legend. The slot had become so famous that it had its own Twitter account, which happily shared the news of the Miscos’ big win.

Now that it has paid off, however, the Lion’s Share will be retired. The MGM Grand is even considering letting the Miscos take the machine home with them as a souvenir of their historic win.

For the couple, who has been coming to Las Vegas for 25 years and who now raise Arabian horses on their New Hampshire farm, the win was hard to believe.

“I wasn’t absolutely convinced I had won,” Walter said. “Call it divine intervention, or whatever.”

The news also came as a shock to their daughter, not just because of what happened, but also because of what time the phone rang to give her the news.

“She was a little unnerved when my wife called because calls at 3 a.m. are usually not good news,” Walter said. “I ruined her day because she didn’t go back to sleep.”