The Biggest Gambling Wins in History

Gambling is a game of luck. While some games can be influenced in small margins by skill, such as poker, no one has any say over how reels turn, roulette wheels spin, or which cards get dealt. For some, this can result in losses. Yet for others, fortune can favor them and provide huge payouts. Below, we give three of the biggest gambling wins in history. 


Archie Karas is a legendary name amongst casino winners. A Greek immigrant to the US, he had grown up in a life of poverty, barely having enough money to feed himself. He turned up to Vegas with a reported $50 to use at the poker tables which resulted in a huge winning streak. This came to be known simply as ‘The Run’. Soon, he had managed to amass more than $40 million. 

However, Karas’s tale was not as magical as it may seem as his run ended abruptly after two and a half years. The average player these days can play more comfortably by taking advantage of free spins at online casinos. You can learn more about new casinos by following the link, where you can find them ranked by several different factors. Many of these casinos offer free spins and matched deposits, so players can comfortably participate without having to use their last dollar.

Unfortunately for Karas, his fortune was lost in just over three weeks, as his high stakes and bankroll management were poor. While he has had some wins afterward, he never reached those heights again. 


Most countries have their national lottery in place, and Europe even has a combined one spanning multiple countries. Yet the biggest win for a US lottery came in January 2016 with the Powerball lottery. The total came to $1.58 billion and three winning tickets were sold. It was won by three married couples, hailing from Florida, Tennessee, and California. 

Winners of the lottery get a choice. They can be paid in installments or take a slightly lower lump sum amount. All opted for the lump sum, which gave them around $533 million each. One of the couples decided to remain anonymous for a few months after the event, with another splurging the money on massages, a new truck, and an early retirement. 

Slot Machines

The biggest win on a slot machine was back in 2003. It happened at the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas. The slot machine in question was a megabuck, which adds to a progressive jackpot. This is when a small amount is taken from each game and put into a larger pot, which someone inevitably ends up winning. 

An unnamed software engineer won the amount and chose to have it paid out in installments over 25 years. He wagered $100 on the slots and managed to hit a one in 16.7 million chance. 

This record was briefly broken in 2016 when a woman hit a $42.9 million jackpot. However, the result was down to an error with the machine. This ended in a legal battle between the player and the casino, though the outcome was unknown.

Huynh Nguyen

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