The only person to have won big on two separate occasions, the WWII veteran won some $4.6m on the first day of opening at the Mirage Casino in Vegas on the Megabucks Jackpot slot machine.
Elmer Sherwin was the first winner of the “progressive jackpot” which had been introduced in 1989. The concept is that each time a player plays a slot, the value of the jackpot increases until it is won and then it reverts to normal; this is a tantalising selling point and has helped many people grab those big wins.
More to read: The fascinating history surrounding casino games
The money he used to realise his lifelong dream and travel the world. This first win was in 1989 and despite the enormous jackpot, after returning from his travels he decided to carry on playing the slot machines. He didn’t need the money, but he enjoyed it.
Imagine his surprise when 16 years later in 2005 he experienced another big win. This jackpot dwarfed his previous win at an impressive $21m. This time, feeling he did not need the money and in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he decided to give most of it to charity, including to help relief efforts for the people affected.