MGM Grand Slot Machine, The Lions Share, Has Finally Paid Out

26 Aug 2014 | 03:28 Author: King, George

MGM Grand’s legendary progressive slot machine, the Lions Share, has finally paid out after 24 years on the casino floor.

A lucky couple from New Hampshire managed what thousands have only dreamt about and have finally won the $2.4 million jackpot from the Lions Share, a Las Vegas legend and one of the most played slot machines on the gambling floor of the MGM Grand.

After 24 years of constant attention, the last and oldest 3 reel slot machine, MGM Grand’s the Lions Share, has paid out its jackpot and will finally be put to rest. The game was the last of the original 50 that the MGM Grand placed on its floor for the opening over 2 decades ago with the rest of the 49 machines being cannibalized to keep it going. A casino employee, upon hearing of the jackpot, said he was amazed the machine held out for as long as it did.

The Lions Share developed a cult following of Las Vegas locals and tourists alike. Its Facebook page has reached over 1400 likes in two short years and its Twitter page reached over 4500 followers in the same time. Stories and articles have been written about it by the likes of the Wall Street Journal, Fox News and ABC.

Such was the cult status of the game, it would be one of the few games on the casino floor that would have a queue, sometimes 8 or 9 people deep. Even the Daily Mail, upon paying a visit to the machine, said it was easier getting into a Celine Dion concert than it was to have a few spins of the wheel. Loyal patrons were known to sit in the chair for days, one even admitted to falling asleep on numerous occasions before being woken up by Casino security during a marathon that lasted three days.

Justin Andrews, Executive Director of Slot Operations at the MGM Grand confirmed that the machine is one of the busiest on an already bustling MGM Grand casino floor “the button gets pressed once every five seconds for a majority of the day, it’s very rare to walk by the game and see someone not playing it” he said.

This is often where the Twitter page has come in handy, with many a tech savvy gambler tweeting about their moments with the iconic machine.


Lions Share Tweet


When the news of the jackpot broke on Friday night, with the help of MGM Grand’s Twitter account, the internet went wild with posts on both Facebook and Twitter blocking up the internet.


Lions Share Tweet


 While thousands will mourn the loss of the legendary slot machine, there are two that won’t. Linda and Walter Misco, the eventual victors in the 24 year long battle, will, if Las Vegas folklore and rumours are correct, be able to take the machine home with them.

The other machines having long since been retired with the exception of the one which was left on the casino floor in the hopes that the Jackpot would be paid out. Justin Andrews went on to add “under gaming regulations, the casino could have shifted the progressive jackpot to different machines, but the resort was not allowed to keep the accumulated jackpot. It is our obligation to pay it back to our customers”.

It would seem that an era has finally come to an end for one of the stranger Las Vegas attractions which, Andrews was surprised about at first, but one that developed organically over time. “Not a day went by where someone didn’t ask about it. The appeal came from the large jackpot and the fact that it was one of a kind”.

And one of a kind it was indeed. Even though there were newer machines, ones with more exciting actions, themes and bigger jackpots, the allure of the Lions Share was a mystical one. One follower, standing in the line at the time of the interview said: “the machine takes you back to the heady days of Vegas, it reminds you of the beginnings of the Stardust, the Riviera, the Sahara and the Sands”.

It’s not often you see such a machine reach the status it has and it’s even rarer for a machine to be ‘stalked’ as bloggers would update its new location with maps each and every time it was moved by the casino.

And so, we have to say goodbye to one of the most endearing and beguiling slot machines Las Vegas, and even the world, has ever had the good fortune to encounter. If stories are to be believed, the machine will have concluded its time on the casino floor of the MGM Grand. Even if it stays, which some say might be a possibility, the likeliness of it having such a devoted following, are very slim as the spell has broken and the 24 year old legend, has finally come to an end.

George King
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A Writer, a Sailor and a purveyor of Facetiousness: Ladies and Gents, we give you... George "the" King

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