A visitor from California hit it big recently at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas. Identifying himself as only William J. of Van Nuys, the lucky slot player collected a prize worth $328,655. This makes Mr. J. one of the many big winners to hit a large jackpot at the site. The player was at the airport either waiting for a flight or just leaving one and decided to test his luck on a Wheel of Fortune slot machine located in the B concourse.
There was no indication of how much the winning gambler had spent on the winning spin or how long he was there before hitting the big win. Once the news hit social media channels, it generated a lot of engagement. In addition to strangers adding their own congratulations to the posts, others indicated that older slot machines located at that airport tend to have much smaller jackpots.
The Wheel of Fortune Slot Has Produced Other Wins
Although William J. takes home the largest single jackpot to come out of the Las Vegas airport so far in 2022, he is certainly not the first big winner there. It was on February 25, 2021, when a woman who identified herself as Megan H. of Flower Mound, Texas won a large six-figure jackpot. She was waiting for her flight in the B concourse and thought she would kill some time on the Wheel of Fortune slot machine. She won $302,334.86. Again, there is no word on how long she was gambling or how much was bet on the winning spin.
Back in July 2020, a woman identified as Kaoru H. from Torrance, California took home one of the largest slot machine jackpots at the airport. After her plane landed, she went to a Wheel of Fortune 4D penny slot in the airport’s C concourse. She took a $5 spin and won $873,511. However, the largest jackpot recorded at the site dates back to 2005. An unidentified gambler took home $3,961,585.14 from a slot machine located within the airport property. No other details exist about this win.
There Have Been Other Winners As Well
According to Safest Betting Sites, The Las Vegas airport where all of this activity has taken place contains over 1,400 slot machines in the terminal buildings. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many went unused. That is not to say there haven’t been other winners. In October 2021, a Florida man identified as David P. was leaving the city and decided to try his luck one more time while waiting for his flight. He took home $19,825 he won in the B concourse on a “Lock It Link” slot machine.
Despite So Many Wins, The Strip Has Better Odds Than The Airport
A survey conducted in 2001 by gambling analyst Michael Shackleford revealed that the slots at the Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas paid out up to 8-percent less than the return-to-player (RTP) percentage at casinos located on The Strip. Those are interesting odds. Although slot machines have variable RTPs depending on the game, an 8-percent difference is huge according to Shackleford. He claims one of the main reasons for the discrepancy is that the slots at airports are accessible only to those at the site which industry observers have come to label as a “captive audience” with no other gambling alternatives located next door, down, or across the street as is the case on The Strip.
Shackleford points to the balance that regular casino operators on The Strip try to create where they still earn a profit and gambling customers win some or lose some by spending time at a slot machine. Airport slots are different in that they are played mostly by travelers as opposed to regular customers or vacationers. Since the airport slots attract a small demographic of people who are essentially just passing through, the balance is not as crucial. Or at least that’s the way Shackleford sees it. Does this mean you should avoid airport slot machines? Absolutely not. This just gives you a bit more insight into what to expect.
More On Wheel of Fortune Slot Machines
The Wheel of Fortune slot game is manufactured by IGT. It offers a progressive jackpot and in Nevada, all Wheel of Fortune slots are linked together in a network making them a good bet. It means two things. The jackpots are typically much larger than any you would find on a non-progressive slot. Plus, once a Wheel of Fortune slot anywhere in the state produces a jackpot, all the machines on the network are reset to the starting amount.
This means is that at the airport, probably the best slot to play is Wheel of Fortune. The reason is that the RTP would be the same across the network regardless of where the machine you are playing is located. It is also important to note that to win the maximum jackpot on a slot machine, players must bet the maximum amount per spin. This is the case with all slot games, anywhere.
More on Harry Reid International Airport
The Las Vegas airport was named McCarran International Airport to honor former US Senator Pat McCarran who represented Nevada between 1933 and 1954. The airport was renamed in response to complaints about McCarron’s character. Harry Reid was a US Senator who represented Nevada between 1987 and 2017. He was also the Majority Leader of the Senate. Reid was 82 when he passed away recently.
There continue to be huge slot wins at the Las Vegas airport simply because there are several machines there and an endless supply of potential players. Progressive slots like Wheel of Fortune return the biggest jackpots but other slots on site have a lower RTP than casinos located on The Strip. If you intend to hit the tables or slots, the difference in RTP may not be all that much of a concern to you. Regardless, if you are in Las Vegas to gamble, you have plenty of choices and may hit it big on your way out of town waiting for your flight to get home.