The winner, William Benford, is a business owner from Tuscaloosa, Ala. Benford credited his win, in part, to a holiday tradition saying he “always” visits the casino on Thanksgiving weekend. Benford’s MegaJackpot hit however, caught him by surprise. “I had to check three times to see if I won!” When asked about his immediate plans for his winnings, Beneford said he plans to “have fun” and “buy cat food.”
This MegaJackpot prize is the second to be paid at the casino this year. The first was paid May 13 in the amount of $206,990 and was also a Wheel of Fortune quarters jackpot. The Silver Star Casino has now paid 26 MegaJackpots totaling nearly $11.3 million since 2002, including three MegaJackpots over $1 million each. Incredibly, all three million-dollar hits occurred just weeks apart in 2005, and all were paid on the Wheel of Fortune $1 progressive system. The first, a $1.1 million prize was awarded Oct. 29. Almost exactly one month later, on Nov. 25, a $1.5 million MegaJackpot was paid. And, rounding out the million-dollar series of hits, a third jackpot in the amount of $1.3 million hit Dec. 31.
The Silver Star is one of two Mississippi casinos belonging to a Native American progressive gaming network which includes more than 300 tribal casinos nationwide. Each time a coin is played in a linked machine, anywhere in the network, the jackpot accumulates until some lucky winner hits the top jackpot award. Combined, the Silver Star along with sister casino, the Golden Moon, also located in Philadelphia, Miss., have now awarded an astounding 43 jackpots totaling more than $19.3 million.
The Wheel of Fortune quarters progressive is one of the most popular systems in Native America, and features an exciting bonus spin that has come to be one of the favorite facets of the game for players and fans alike. Wheel of Fortune has a starting jackpot of $100,000. In order to win the MegaJackpot, a player bets three quarters at a time while attempting to line up the Wheel of Fortune symbols on the machine’s payline.
Wheel of Fortune was developed by IGT, a global company specializing in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and sales of computerized gaming machines and systems products. All IGT MegaJackpot top awards are paid in annual installments upon verification, except MegaJackpots Instant Winners Jackpots which are paid in their entirety upon verification.