ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – For 84-year-old Josephine Crawford, the golden years just got a lot more golden.
After a night playing the slot machines, the retired waitress widow was about to call it quits Tuesday when she hit a $10 million jackpot — the biggest in the history of casino gambling in Atlantic City.
Crawford, who gambles here twice a week and has been going to the casinos since the first one opened in 1978, had never won more than $1,000 before she came into the big money at the nickel slots at Harrah's Atlantic City.
The widow from Galloway Township lives with her daughter, drives a 2006 Honda Civic and has no plans to buy a new car or a new house. But she always wanted to see Italy, where her parents grew up, and wants to share the wealth with her two daughters, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
"Somehow, I'll spend it. I'll spend it at the casino, and I might go to Vegas," she said.
The jackpot was won on a progressive slot machine linked to hundreds of others in Atlantic City's 12 casinos. The previous biggest Atlantic City jackpot was $8.5 million, won in 1994.
Crawford was playing alongside her 27-year-old granddaughter Alicia Weeks. After spending about $20 with no luck, Weeks suggested they move on. Crawford said no, she wanted to play $20 more. She was down to her last $5 in credits when she hit the jackpot.
It didn't take long for word of her luck to spread. Three men proposed to her, she said.
"Their wives were there, too!" Crawford said. "One of them told me, `You can have him."'