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How to Play Megabucks


To many people’s surprise, slots have been around for more than a hundred years. These one-armed bandits are the most prevalent gaming option on casino floors and have held that status since the 1960s when the first electromechanical machine got invented. They are simple to play games that involve no skill and feature elementary rulesets. Thus, there is no barrier to play for anyone that walks through the doors of a gambling establishment.

By some estimates, Las Vegas alone is home to over 200,000 such products, and like with all things, there is one that stands out in an ocean of countless competitors. That is IGT’s Megabucks machine. It is the most famous land-based slot ever, one that hit casinos in 1986 and has left an indelible mark on this industry.

IGT is one of the world’s most massive providers of gaming products, active since 1975. The Italian company De Agostini now holds a controlling interest in this entity, which has been responsible for titles like The Dating Game, Joker’s Wild, Top Dollar, and many legendary video poker machines. Though, Megabucks is the crown jewel of their gaming catalog, their premier millionaire-maker. Read on to learn all there is to know about this game. Sadly, you cannot test it out from home, as IGT has not yet released a digital version. However, there is a list of online casinos that offer Megabucks alternatives.

Megabucks’ Game Specifications

Megabucks is a progressive slot machine that IGT created to compete with state lotteries. Meaning, it ties into a network that connects hundreds of Megabucks games from over 130 Nevada casinos whose primary goal is to grow a base jackpot amount until someone gets lucky and wins it all. When that happens, the game’s potential winning sum will reset to $10 million, or what industry professionals call the seed amount. It signifies that at no time can the Megabucks jackpot drop below this figure.

Almost all the top Vegas venues carry these machines. That means that you can find it at spots like the MGM Grand, the Plaza, the Palms, the Riviera, the Venetian, the Wynn, The Golden Nugget, and many others.

Megabucks comes in the three-reel and five-reel format and accepts dollar bets. You will need to insert three coins or make a three-dollar wager if you wish to go hunting for the life-changing jackpot. The older variations of this title feature three reels and only one payline, while more modern iterations implement a touch screen and five reels. The symbols used vary per Megabucks variation. Some have fruit ones, and others implement the classics, sevens, and bars.

Like most progressive slots, this one also has a low return-to-player of 88.6%. So, you cannot expect to land winning combos often in the base game. Megabucks is an all-or-nothing slot. You play it hoping to hit its jackpot. According to calculations, the odds you will face on that endeavor are close to fifty million to one. Know that even if good fortune smiles upon you, you will not get to walk away from a casino holding a bag full of millions of dollars. All Megabucks progressive prizes get paid out in twenty-five installments, one per year. Hitting the minimum jackpot amount means that you will get $400,000 a year for twenty-five years.

Megabucks Variations

As mentioned, during its thirty-five-year existence IGT has released many Megabucks variations. The official tally stands at nineteen, with most of those products featuring three reels and one payline. Some of the more established entries in this series include Double Diamond, Double Diamond Deluxe, Mega Volt Re-Spin, Wolf Run, Crystal Sevens, Red Hot Re-Spin, Platinum Pays, and Triple Ruby Riches.

Megabucks Mega Jackpots

To provide a sense of reference for the magnitude of this slot’s relevance to the gambling industry, it is worth noting that Megabucks has produced the top six slot jackpot wins in history. The record-holder is a prize of $39 million, won in March of 2003 at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino on the Vegas Strip. Its winner was an anonymous Vegas software engineer, who allegedly was in town visiting family and spent $100 spinning Megabucks’ reels before becoming a millionaire. The previous record was $34.9 million, won at the Desert Inn Casino and Hotel in Vegas in 2000.

Throughout its existence, Megabucks has made close to one hundred millionaires. It has paid out way over half a billion dollars in prize money to its winners. Its least impressive reward in the past twenty years came in 2004 when the game churned out a prize of $8 million at the Palms Casino Resort. Naturally, that was before the $10 million minimum limit got instated. Now, most Megabucks wins are in the $10 million to $20 million range.

Online Alternatives

Given that there is no Megabucks online slot, similar IGT products available at online casinos are those in the Mega Jackpots series, such as Cleopatra, Siberian Storm, Ocean Belles, Isle O’Plenty, Star Lanterns, Golden Goddess, and Wheel of Fortune on Air. These games cannot produce prizes comparable to the physical Megabucks machines, but they can still yield rewards up to several hundred thousand of dollars.

If you yearn to spin reels for million over the internet, Microgaming’s Mega Moolah slot can provide wins comparable to Megabucks. Its most massive prize is a jackpot of $23.6 million landed in April of 2021 by a Belgian player on Napoleon Sports & Casino.

Hall of Gods from Swedish provider NetEnt is another online spinner with a decent reputation for giving away millions. Statistics say that it pays out a jackpot every 28 weeks or so, with an average win amount of $6.7 million.

Some of these games may be hard to locate, as not all online casinos carry them. Aztec’s Millions from Realtime Gaming is an online jackpot mainstay that is widely available. It features a somewhat outdated design, but its seed amount is one million dollars.

To Sum Up

If you find yourself in Vegas and want to see if lady luck is on your side, with dreams of claiming a life-altering reward in seconds, put three dollars in a Megabucks machine and press spin. If you only want to have fun and earn a little extra change, stay away from it and all other progressive slots. That is because the chances of you landing a substantial win on such games are astronomical. So, it is wise to play conservatively and with low expectations. Online alternatives have lower max bet limits, letting you win millions on spins that cost less than a dollar. They may be a better option, so weigh all of yours before deciding what game you will play.

 Author Bio

Hi! I’m Bryan, and I’m a passionate & expert writer with more than five years of experience. I have written about various topics such as product descriptions, travel, cryptocurrencies, and online gaming in my writing journey. The latter is one of my favorite topics, and you can find some of my premium casino content at OUSC.