No matter your favorite casino game, every winner expects to be paid—regardless of how small or large the sum. Whether you win big playing backgammon, blackjack, or even slots, one thing is certain: if you emerge victorious, you have a right to the money you’ve won. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work, right?
Veronica Castillo, of Portland, Oregon, had the unfortunate experience of learning that’s not always the case. When she recently won big on the slots at the Lucky Eagle Casino in Rochester, Washington, the casino refused to pay her winnings for the most outrageous reason ever…
We’ve all dreamed of winning it big at some point. Whether it was playing the lottery or gambling at a casino, the desire to suddenly come into a large windfall is felt by people all around the world. That included Portland, Oregon’s Veronica Castillo.
Though she wasn’t an avid gambler, Veronica recently visited the Lucky Eagle Casino in Rochester, Washington. She was excited to hit the wide variety of slot machines they offered in-house.
Ultimately, Veronica was simply looking to unwind and have some fun. Only, before she knew it, things took a turn. Suddenly, her relaxing trip was about to transform into something else entirely…
It all started soon after she arrived. Veronica first made her way to a pair of random slot machines. She knew there wasn’t a high chance she’d win big, but that didn’t matter; she was on vacation, and that meant simply having a good time!
After putting $100 into the slot machine, Veronica pulled the lever. At first, she lost—no big deal. But on the second pull, when the digital wheel stopped spinning, she was declared a winner!
Veronica wasn’t just any winner—she was the winner of a whopping $8.5 million! Not your average day at the casino, especially for a first-timer. It was unlike anything she’d ever expected and, of course, cause for excitement. Little did she know what twist lay ahead…
Ecstatic, Veronica began to think of all the amazing things she could do with that sort of cash! She could go on vacations, eat expensive meals, and even quit her job! Those dreams were, however, quickly dashed…
Before she could really celebrate, casino staff alerted Veronica that she wouldn’t be collecting any money. Instead, they explained the slot machine had malfunctioned and mistakenly declared her a winner. “I was very excited and happy, then I couldn’t believe it,” she later remembered of the incident.
Just as suddenly as Veronica had become a millionaire, she’d had it all stripped away from her. “They shut off the machine, took it away, printed out a ticket and gave me $80,” she explained to local reporters later.
Veronica couldn’t believe it. Yet, she was immediately shown a sticker on all the slot machines that claimed all pays and plays on the machine are voided when they malfunction. It seemed oddly convenient, to say the least.
No matter what the staff told her, Veronica wasn’t buying it. “To me, it’s cheating, may even be fraudulent,” she stated. “My first thought was, how many people has this happened to? They think they’ve won, then go away empty-handed.”
Lucky Eagle Casino CEO, John Setterstrom, who had been with the establishment since it was founded in 1995, claimed such an incident had never occurred in all his time there. He also said his team was looking into why the machine would malfunction like it had.
Later on, the casino released an official statement about the incident. “Rocket Gaming Systems, the machine manufacturer, is in the process of conducting a forensic investigation to determine the cause of the display malfunction that occurred on the machine Ms. Castillo was playing,” it began.
“This machine offers a maximum jackpot of $20,000 if a maximum bet is placed on all lines,” the statement continued. “The maximum jackpot that Ms. Castillo could have won based on the number of lines and credits she was betting is $6,000.”
Of course, none of that made Veronica any happier about her luck. “We deeply regret that Ms. Castillo temporarily experienced an incorrect credit display while the machine began its process of metering down after the display malfunction,” casino representative Joseph Dupuis explained.
In addition to the measly $80, the Lucky Eagle Casino offered to let Veronica stay in one of its guest suites for an entire weekend, complete with free dining. Was that enough to satisfy Veronica, though?
While that was all fine and good, there was simply no reward that could replace the staggering $8.5 million Veronica believed she rightfully won. And staying at their hotel was practically rubbing it in her face—or so she felt.
Since the incident, Veronica spent much of her time seeking an attorney who could help her better assess the situation. In hopes of doing so, she even reached out for any and all help on her social media accounts.
Veronica was also hoping the same thing doesn’t happen to other people who could just as badly use the money. “What I expect at the very least, is to create awareness about how the casinos work, when the players get the big winnings,” she wrote.
It’s ridiculous to think that one second you could win millions of dollars, and the next, it’s being taken away from you. Hopefully, Veronica finds the justice she seeks sooner than later, so this doesn’t happen to anyone else…
How awful. Here Veronica thought she’d struck it big, when in reality, the casino was going to take everything she won away from her. That just seems downright unfair!