The Lion’s Share slot machine at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas has not awarded its top jackpot in over 20 years. Now that jackpot is worth more than $2.3M, and it only requires a $1 wager to spin.

The Lion’s Share

The Lion’s Share premiered at the MGM Grand decades ago, when computerized progressive jackpots were first becoming popular. There were initially 50 of the machines throughout the hotel and casino. Over time, however, those machines were replaced by newer games. One has remained. That is partly because it is a piece of MGM Grand history, but it is also because the machine has not paid out in 20 years. A jackpot that once promised thousands of dollars for a $1 bet now promises $2.3 million.

Fairness Assured

One might assume that a slot machine that has not paid out in 20 years is rigged, but that is not the case. Nevada law requires all slot machines to pay out 75 per cent of the take-in, and regular auditing assures that is the case. In addition, the odds for hitting the top jackpot are well within the norm for such machines. It has simply been a legendary streak of bad luck, and it is not as if the casino benefits. Although that has begun to change as the Lion’s Share machine has started to become something of an event.

Lions Share SlotsOne Machine

The fact there is just one machine and so many people want to play has created somewhat of a problem at times. Traditionally, if you sit down at a slot machine in Las Vegas, it is yours until you choose to leave. That can no longer be the case with the Lion’s Share because there is a line to play it almost every day. In fact, the Lion’s Share now has a dedicated host during peak hours who keeps the line moving.

The Future of Lion’s Share

During a recent press conference, MGM Grand officials were asked what they would do once the machine paid out. Would they remove it? The officials in attendance did not think so. After all, the Lion’s Share is part of MGM Grand history now and, more than that, it is part of Las Vegas lore. When a vacationer from Europe has the Lion’s Share on his or her to do list, that is an indication of something very special and lasting in a city where so much changes so fast and so regularly.


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