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It was like a scene right out of a movie. An elderly woman sits down at a slot machine, not expecting much, but ends up winning a huge jackpot, bells, whistles and all. She leaps up out of disbelief, cheers, and walks out a rich women able to provide more for herself and her family.
That is how it is supposed to go, right? That is what everyone was expecting when 90 year-old Pauline McKee was given a $41 million bonus on the popular slot machine “Miss Kitty.” However, the elderly woman left the casino empty handed and on April 24th, 2015 a judge declared that the casino did not owe her the winnings due to a computer glitch in the slot machine.
On Friday April 24th, 2015, elderly McKee learned that the $41 million awarded to her from a penny slot machine was, in fact, not hers. The Iowa Supreme Court rules in favor of the Isle Casino and Hotel in Waterloo, claiming that the $41 million bonus was a computer glitch, not covered in the contract of play, and therefore did not have to be paid out. “I was hoping to help my children out financially, ” McKee told the Chicago Tribune. “But it wasn’t meant to be.” The 90 year old stood stoically as the decision was read; informing her that she would only receive $1.85 from the bet that was supposed to give her millions.
The “Miss Kitty” penny slot machine allows bonus’s to be given to players and in the case of Pauline McKee, a computer glitch ended up saying that she had been awarded a little over million as a bonus, after being awarded a 185 credit. When the machine lit up saying, “the wheels have rolled your way” and listed the winnings amount, McKee calmly called over an attendant to help her. The casino employee took pictures of the screen, reset the game, and then called a manger. Laws in the state govern that slot machines cannot award more than , 000 at a time to players. The manger was called to examine that machine and McKee and her guests were given a free nights stay in a swanky hotel room while the machine was examined.
The next day the president of the casino called McKee and her daughter to inform them that the situation was highly “unusual” and that they needed to take a closer look at the machine. He also allowed McKee to have a continued free stay at the hotel while the issue was resolved. The casino then informed the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission and the machine was taken off the casino floor to be studied. McKee was forced to eventually leave without her money.
The casino claimed that the machine was faulty and that a computer glitch had allowed it to give out the bonus that exceeded the norm. The president and general manger informed McKee that the unusual circumstances were listed in the contract of play stating that, “malfunctions void all pays and plays.” With that, the Isle Casino and Hotel refused to pay out the $41 million to the elderly woman and her daughter.
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