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Woman hits slot machine jackpot

November 14, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - Charles Town Races & Slots recorded its biggest slot machine payout last week when a Washington, D.C., woman won more than $1 million on a "progressive" slot machine that is part of a three-state game.

Brenda Jackson was playing a 25-cent machine Nov. 6 when she hit a combination that won her $1,069,594, according to track and state lottery officials.

Jackson was sitting at the machine and thinking about what she was going to have for dinner that night when "this funny screen came up" at 12:49 p.m., said Margaret Patterson, the track's advertising manager.

Patterson said Jackson didn't know how to continue playing on the machine and someone nearby told her what had happened.

"I think everyone was surprised," Patterson said Monday.

Jackson was playing on a "Cashola" machine that is part of a slot machine game operated in Delaware, Rhode Island and West Virginia, said Libby White, deputy director of marketing for the West Virginia Lottery.

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Players in all three states put money into the game and the jackpot continues to build until someone hits a winning combination, track and lottery officials said.

The Cashola game has been offered since July and the local track has had other progressive games in the past, Patterson said.

Although Patterson said she could not remember what the track's largest jackpot had been before Jackson's win, she said it was "nowhere near this."

There have been at least four jackpot winners since Cashola started, the first in Rhode Island, where Richard Keels won $454,319 at Lincoln Park, White said.

On Oct. 6, Walter Aho of Fowler, Ohio, won $2.1 million on a machine at The Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in Chester, W.Va., and Monday afternoon, George Shearer of Monroeville, Pa., won a $521,878 jackpot at Mountaineer.

"Obviously, West Virginia is having a good streak of luck now," White said.

Progressive slot machine games are popular in other parts of the country, such as Las Vegas, where casino owners may operate progressive games among themselves, White said.

Charles Town Races & Slots has 41 Cashola machines, Patterson said.

Racing and gambling fans have been flocking to the track since Penn National Gaming Inc. took over the facility in 1997 and began a transformation of the facility. More than 4,000 slot machines are offered at the oval.

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