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Lifestyle :: Travel :: Kimo's Vegas :: What to Do When You Win BIG!

What to Do When You Win BIG!

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John Tippin, Megabucks Winner
John Tippin, Megabucks Winner

A big win for us everyday people is rare but are you prepared for it? When it happens you may be tired or visiting a casino that you're not staying at so thinking about a few things before hand may save you some grief later.

Megabucks machine
Megabucks machine

Because Nevada Casinos are so heavily regulated and some slot machine jackpots are sometimes paid by the manufacturer (like Megabucks) verifying your win may take several hours...

I agree it's a small price to pay for all that money.

If you win is substantial enough the casino will rope off both you and the machine to keep the looky loos at a safe distance. Prior to that brace yourself for a lot of congratulation pats on the back and good luck rubs.

Again I agree it's a small price to pay for all that money.

John Tippin, Megabucks Winner
John Tippin, Megabucks Winner

Another thing you'll have to consider is if you want to allow the casino to tell the world about you and your win. Can they use your name and image? John Tippin the first Megabucks winner from Hawaii has an excellent account of what happens in his book "I Did It: My Life after Megabucks". The average person is not prepared for the onslaught of publicity that a big win brings. John had bums, business offers, loan requests and lotsa lost relatives who suddenly wanted some of his time and money. Does this new found fame sound like fun to you? Read more about John at my web site.

Terry Williams, Megabucks Winner
Terry Williams, Megabucks Winner

Terry Williams the first Megabucks Winner has an excellent account of what happens after you win a big jackpot and you can read about him here.

Only you can put a price on your anonymity.

Your next problem is what to do with all that money! Five or ten thousand can easily be carried in a purse or on ones person. But what if you win $25,000, $50,000, $100,000 or a Million Dollars? Would you really feel comfortable carrying all that cash?

For some reason the casinos feel obligated to have you take the cash... some are so insistent they lead you to believe it's your only option. WRONG! You actually have several options.

Cash - Casinos love it when you take the cash. Keep in mind if you take the cash that a brick (casino speak for a wad of hundies) equals $5,000 or $10,000 dollars that's 500 or 1,000 $100 bills and measures between 3 and 7 inches in height. By the way bands are color coded Brown is $5k and Mustard is $10K. If you're not at your hotel the casino where you won will usually provide a security guard to escort you to your car. Some properties will even drive you to your hotel (but this is rare).

On Deposit - You can keep the money on deposit in the casino cage and draw any amount from your deposit at will. The casino may even extend you a line of credit so you can take out a marker against your deposit.

Check - Casinos will insist that they will not cut you a check but if you are persistent they will.

Safety Deposit Box - This may be the least known option for small players. All casinos have safety deposit boxes like the kind you find in a bank. You can deposit the cash in the casinos safety deposit box just like the High Rollers do. Then you can withdraw the cash as needed. Most hotels will allow you to put valuables in the vault as well.

This will get you through the initial stages of a big win. You'll have plenty of time to worry about Taxes and what to do with the money when you get home.

If you find this information helpful, I do accept donations, honorariums, Char Sui Bau or beef jerky! [End]

For more Kimo's Vegas visit the website at We have a section dedicated to Wheel of Fortune and Megabucks where you can see updated jackpot amounts. Also check us out in MidWeek on Sports Radio 1420 and on Hawaiian105 KINE Friday at 7:20am.

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judy — Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Thanks for the tips - just in time for my next trip to Vegas. I hope I to recall this info when I win millions there - keep up the good work (sorry don't got char siu bau) :)

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Denvas — Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I like this! Brings my hopes up LOL. I work in the casino industry (IT) and I've seen enough databases and inside these things. Not a great way to earn money. But a tip is Don't Play Two Machines Together! They know people do this, and adjust the hold percentages accordingly. So if you see one machine is winning, play two machines away from it - you're chances will be better. Not great, granted (it is slots) - but better. Craps is the way to go. If you know how to influence the dice - this is the money maker. Been making decent money off this for years now. And it's really not too hard. Take a few craps lessons, and you're set. (no pun intended) Well, good luck all - hope to see you in Vegas sometime! -Denvas

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