Woman Sues Casino That Won't Pay Her $43M Jackpot

Casino says slot machine was having 'obvious malfunction'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2017 4:54 PM CDT

(Newser) – "I feel like they did me real dirty," Katrina Bookman tells the New York Daily News. Last August, Bookman was on top of the world when a slot machine at Resorts World Casino in New York informed her she had won nearly $43 million. According to CNN, it would have been the largest slots jackpot in US history—and on a penny slot machine, no less. But when Bookman tried to collect her winnings, she was escorted out of the casino and told to come back the next day for a "decision," Courthouse News reports. When she returned, the casino offered her a free steak dinner and $2.25—the balance left on the machine. On Wednesday, Bookman sued the casino.

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A Resorts World spokesperson says the slot machine was having an "obvious malfunction," and the New York State Gambling Commission says the machine bore a disclaimer reading, "Malfunctions void all pays and plays," the BBC reports. Bookman's lawyer, Alan Ripka, calls those explanations "ridiculous." The lawsuit claims the "bells, noises, and lights" on the machine all indicated Bookman had won the jackpot, and she even took a selfie with the machine bearing the message "printing cash ticket $42,949,672.76." "You can't claim a machine is broken because you want it to be broken," Ripka tells CNN. Bookman, who is claiming "mental anguish," may need help from Lady Luck: An 87-year-old woman was denied a $42 million payout by the Iowa Supreme Court in 2011 in a similar case of an allegedly malfunctioning slot machine. (Were slot machines to blame for this man's death?)

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