NEW YORK and WESTCHESTER, New York, Nov. 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A Long Island man turned his $20 bet into a $1,473,503 million jackpot at Empire City Casino, one of the largest entertainment destinations in the northeast located less than two miles north of New York City.
Suffolk County resident, Howard G. hit the record-breaking jackpot at the Westchester County casino Sunday, October 25 at 11:00am. The life-changing score was won on the popular IGT Wheel of Fortune® Triple Stars® slot machine, located just a few hundred feet from the casino's valet entrance.
It took less than five spins that lucky Sunday morning to hit the jackpot that Howard says will help secure retirement for himself and his wife. The lucky winner says he knew it was only a matter of time.
"I told everyone I knew I was going to hit that jackpot; my co-workers, family, and friends," said Howard. "I was determined. It was part of my routine. I play my slots, then hit the blackjack tables, and always try for the (Wheel of Fortune) jackpot before I leave. This time, I started at the jackpot. And it worked!"
"I play at casinos in Vegas, Atlantic City and Biloxi, but I truly feel most comfortable at Empire City," explained Howard. "Not only do I love the gaming variety, but the staff is accommodating and friendly – they were so happy when I won!"
Howard said he doesn't have specific plans for the winnings but said the jackpot will provide a more comfortable retirement adding, "My wife wants a new roof on the house, so I guess we can get that now."
Howard says the reaction from friends, family and colleagues has been very positive, "Someone asked me if I woke up that morning thinking I was going to win. I told him I wake up every morning thinking I am going to win!"
The Wheel of Fortune slot machine that turned Howard into a millionaire ballooned past the $1 million mark on April 15, 2015 and has had guests coming from far and wide to try their luck ever since. The progressive jackpot was not the typical wide area progressive with slot machines linked between various casinos. This particular jackpot could only be won on two Wheel of Fortune games at Empire City, both $10 denomination machines with a max bet of $20 needed to hit the jackpot. Howard G. is one of over 1,000 million dollar jackpot winners on Wheel of Fortune slots to date.
"We are thrilled that the largest racetrack casino jackpot in the history of New York was won right here at Empire City Casino," said Ryan Murphy, vice president of marketing at Empire City. "Empire City has some of the best payouts in the entire country and this is another prime example of a huge win for one of our guests."
The record jackpot exceeded the previously held record by nearly one million dollars, hit by Manuel Esteche of Port Chester hit for $571,000 in February 2015. Esteche's haul broke the previous record jackpot of $509,000 won in November 2014 by Moosue Stefern of Bergenfield, New Jersey.
There's no shortage of jackpots at Empire City. There are currently nine (9) six-figure jackpots ranging from $133,000 to $424,375 on games with denominations as low as a penny, and hundreds more jackpots valued at tens of thousands of dollars are waiting to be hit. According to the New York State Lottery, in September of 2015, Empire City patrons took home their share of $658 million.
About Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway: Empire City Casino, one of the largest entertainment and gaming destinations in the northeast, features 5,300 of the hottest slots, electronic blackjack, three card poker, craps, roulette, baccarat and sic bo; year-round harness racing & International simulcasting; live entertainment including the best party, tribute and Latin bands, comedy, & more. A plethora of dining options will satisfy even the most discerning palate with Italian cuisine at Nonno's Trattoria; trackside dining with live betting at Empire Terrace Restaurant; and convenient delicious options at the International Food Court or Lil' Cocina. A new $50 million expansion added Dan Rooney's, a high-energy sports bar, and Alley 810, a craft cocktail lounge rounds out the entertainment options with retro bowling lanes. Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway is located at 810 Yonkers Avenue (off I-87 at Central Avenue) Yonkers, NY, Westchester County, open seven days a week from 10:00am to 6:00am. Visit www.empirecitycasino.com or call 914.968.4200 for information.
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Photo Credit: Justin Grasso
Photo Caption: $1.4 Million Wheel of Fortune Slot Winner Howard G. at Empire City Casino
Photo Link: http://bit.ly/BiggestJackpotWin
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Taryn Duffy Empire City Casino 914-457-2431