New York Slots Player Wins $43 Million Steak Dinner

Posted on: October 31, 2016, 05:00h. 

Last updated on: October 31, 2016, 02:34h.

New York slots player Resorts World
The sign reads “Win Big” over the gaming machines, but one New York slots player found out winning too big was too good to be true. (Image:

A New York slots player is out what she believes to be $42.9 million of her own casino winnings, but not before she first won a free steak dinner.

In August, Katrina Bookman, a single mother of four, was playing a slot machine at Resorts World in Queens, New York, that offered a maximum payout of $6,500. To her and other onlookers’ surprise, Bookman landed a win of $42,949,672.76.

“I kept thinking about my family,” Bookman told ABC7 New York. “I said, ‘What did I win?’ The casino rep said, ‘You didn’t win nothing.'”

Resorts World said the SPIELO-manufactured slot machine malfunctioned. SPIELO is the gaming product brand of International Game Technology (IGT).

All gaming terminals and slot machines in New York come with a posted disclosure that reads, “Malfunction voids all pays and plays.”

Instead of paying out the nearly $43 million, Resorts World paid Bookman the $2.25 win that the machine should have displayed, and offered her a free steak dinner. “The struggle I’ve been through, it’s hard to cope,” Bookman explained.

Down the Slot

Bookman isn’t ready to concede her alleged jackpot. She’s hired a lawyer to help make her case, but unfortunately for Bookman, there seems to be little legal recourse.

The New York State Gaming Commission (NYGC) Rules and Regulations states, “Each video lottery gaming vendor shall immediately notify the commission of any recurring video lottery terminal malfunction or other problem experienced.” Gambling law in New York protects casino from technological glitches.

The NYGC told ABC7 that the erred machine was removed and fixed, and is now back on the Resorts World casino floor. The Commission also stated that Resorts World is barred from paying Bookman the $6,500 maximum payout on the machine.

“The machine takes your money when you lose. It ought to pay it when you win,” Bookman’s attorney said.

History Repeats

Slot machine malfunctions are not uncommon. However, Bookman’s annulled win is certainly one of the largest in recent memory.

Back in April of 2015, a 90-year-old grandmother was denied a $41.7 million slot jackpot in Iowa, also due to machine error. Her 2011 win was challenged in court in what became a four-year process.

The case eventually made its way to the Iowa Supreme Court where the high court ruled the woman was only entitled to the correct payout of $1.85.

The court said in its ruling that neither the casino nor the slot machine advertised anything more than the $10,000 maximum jackpot, and therefore didn’t break any patron and casino contract.

“The rules of the game formed a contract between the patron and the casino, and the patron was not entitled to the bonus under those rules,” Iowa Justice Edward Mansfield declared at the time.

The same argument might be presented should Resorts World opt to not settle and take the case to court. The slots machine Bookman was playing advertised a maximum payout of $6,500.