A New York woman thought she had hit it big at a Resorts World Casino slot machine —until she was told that the near $43 million figure displayed was a technical glitch... and was offered her a steak dinner instead of money.
Katrina Bookman visited the Queens, New York casino in late August and started playing on one of the floor's slot machines. According to the New York Daily News, the machine on which Bookman was playing flashed $42,949,642.76 and read “Printing cash ticket.” The excited mother-of-four thought she had won nearly $43 million and took a selfie video next to the machine.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Bookman told the Daily News. “My body went numb.”
But instead of being able to collect her reported winnings immediately, Bookman says she was escorted off the floor by Resorts World employees and told to come back the next day.
Woman denied $43 million jackpot at casino, gets steak dinner instead https://t.co/MApyucFjH4— FOX31 Denver KDVR (@KDVR) November 2, 2016
When she returned to the casino Bookman recalled "I said what did I win? (casino rep said) You didn't win nothing," reports ABC. The only prize the casino offered her was a steak dinner.
Representatives from the New York State Gaming Commission (which run the Queens gaming facility) were called in to tell Bookman that the machine had malfunctioned, and she was not entitled to a payout. According to the commission and the casino, any malfunction makes the game-- and any jackpot-- null and void. The slot machine was pulled from the casino floor and fixed after the incident.
“There was nothing wrong with it when I was playing the machine,” Bookman said. “How do we know when there’s a problem with it? Once I hit something, now you’re going to say it’s a problem. I totally don’t think that was fair.”
But a spokesman for Resorts World told FoxNews.com that the near $43 million figure flashed on the screen doesn’t tell the full story. The machine on which Bookman was playing has a maximum payout of $6,500, which the casino says is clearly advertised.
The casino also claims that before any notifications of a larger prize appeared, Bookman first printed a ticket from the machine for $2.25. The much larger figure only appeared later, after she had finished putting money into the slot.
"Upon being notified of the situation, casino personnel were able to determine that the figure displayed on the penny slot was the result of an obvious malfunction - a fact later confirmed by the New York State Gaming Commission,” said a Resorts World spokesman in a statement to FoxNews.com.
“After explaining the circumstances to Ms. Bookman, we offered to pay her the correct amount that was shown on the printed ticket. Machine malfunctions are rare, and we would like to extend our apologies to Ms. Bookman for any inconvenience this may have caused.”
According to Resort World, the highest slot jackpot ever recorded in any casino is $39.7 million-- and that was in a multi-property, progressive jackpot game. Still, the Queens casino, which has over 3,000 slot games, says it pays out over $50 million daily to individual winners.
But Bookman believes she was wronged and plans to sue the casino.
“She’s upset obviously,” Alan Ripka, Bookman's attorney, told the Daily News. “She thought her life and family’s life would have been changed forever.”
Ripka said he believes the casino should honor the advertised payout but Resort Worlds says that would be against New York state law gaming regulations—thus the steak dinner was offered.
“You can’t have it both ways,” Ripka said. “They’re saying that the machine was broken. Doesn’t that mean a place can claim a machine is broken every time somebody wins?”
On Wednesday, a spokesman for Resorts World would not confirm whether a lawsuit had been served.
Alan Ripka was not immediately available for comment.