A Washington woman who thought she struck gold when she hit a $8 million jackpot has been left with no option but to look for an attorney.
Veronica Castillo, a loan officer, visited the Lucky Eagle Casino last weekend with her mother, hoping to have some fun after her grilling work schedule. But she could not have expected what lie in store for her at the casino based at Rochester, Washington.
She put $100 into a machine and started playing a video game called Jurassic Riches, when the woman began noticing a steep climb in her balance until it hit the $8 million jackpot. Thrilled, she told her mother about what had just happened, and the people at the casino congratulated them for the win. The Washington woman’s multi-million fortune only lasted for five minutes, however.
“I was very excited, happy,” she said. “Then I couldn’t believe what happened.”
When Castillo informed the casino authorities about her $8 million jackpot win, the bosses told her that she could not claim the prize since the machine malfunctioned. Stunned, and not knowing what to do, she persevered with her claims but the casino bosses gave her $10.50, which is the amount they told her she had actually won, according to KGW.
“I felt insulted and I felt cheated. I was very disappointed and very upset. My first thought was, how many people has this happened to? They think they won, then going away empty-handed. And then I got angry,” the Washington woman told KOIN 6.
Now she is looking for an attorney and aims to pursue a lawsuit against the casino, which refuses to budge from its “machine malfunctioned” argument.
Lucky Eagle casino spokesman Joseph Dupuis said there is no way the Washington woman could have hit a $8 million jackpot simply because the machine Castillo was playing only offered a maximum jackpot of $20,000.
“The win claimed by Ms. Castillo is not legally or practically possible on the machine,” he added.
Though the casino authorities claim that such a case of a machine malfunctioning has never happened before, they now say the woman did indeed score a jackpot, but her maximum win was $6,000. Dupuis said the company that made the machine is investigating the cause of the malfunction.
“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, and have offered her a weekend stay in one of our suites as our guest, as well as dining at the property and free play included.”
Castillo has not yet made it clear if she will settle for the revised terms or take the casino bosses to court, but according to latest reports, she is insistent on hiring an attorney.
This is not the first time a casino has claimed that its slot machine malfunctioned after someone struck a jackpot. In 2010, Daily Mail reported about a Colorado couple who thought they’d won an $11 million casino jackpot, but left empty-handed after casino owners told them that the machine malfunctioned.
The husband, Mr. McMahon, had decided against filing a lawsuit against the casino at the time, though his feelings were akin to what Veronica Castillo is going through now.
“If you do hit a jackpot are they going to come up with another story? It’s a machine malfunction? It’s not right,” he had said at the time.
It remains to be seen if the Washington woman will press ahead with her lawsuit after losing out on the $8 million jackpot, but if she does, the casino might be in for a difficult time.
[Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images]