Progressive slot jackpots have traditionally returned some of the biggest wins in online gambling, making a few lucky players instant millionaires. In May 2002, Tony P became the internets first major millionaire when he scooped an amazing $1,594,649.21 on the Major Millions slot at Captain Cooks Casino. Since then, several players have bettered or come close to his record breaking win. Joaquim M won $1,453,610.18 on Major Millions at Jackpot City whereas Jim L eclipsed both of their wins by taking home a stunning $1,683,526.64 on the same slot of Lucky Nugget Casino.
It’s not just Major Millions which makes millionaires. Cari M became a fairy tale winner when she lined up 9 scatters on Playtech's famous Gold Rally progressive in April 2005. Jon R from Essex in the UK got an unprecedented Christmas present when he won $1.77 million on Intercasino's Millionaires Club Slot in December 2005.
It is these extraordinary wins which have led to the popularity of progressive jackpots and led to jackpots climbing ever higher. Microgaming now has fourteen progressive slot jackpots, and has created 9 online millionaires, paying out a staggering 200 million dollars on progressives alone. In all Microgaming's Progressives Network has paid over 6000 winners. Playtech also has over 9 progressive jackpots, the most popular being the Gold Rally Slot which frequently reaches jackpots in excess of $1 million.
At the present time, the largest progressive jackpot in online gambling history is about to be won – Intercasino's Millionaires Club is currently sitting at $4.8 million dollars and rising – making the lucky winner the biggest online casino winner in history.
If online progressive slots jackpots seem high, they are far eclipsed by some of the jackpots in bricks and mortar casinos. The Megabucks jackpot which has a minimum jackpot prize of $7 million dollars is currently standing at $11 million dollars, whereas the jackpot on Megabucks Video slot is a jaw dropping $17 million USD.
So if online jackpots are small fry compared to their real world counterparts, they are still very much worth playing – after all it might just be you. So, is there anything you can do to increase your chances of winning one of these amazing jackpots?
Well most obviously you have to be in it to win it – regular play – even if it’s only a few spins a time in each casino session will give you at least a fighting chance. Its interesting to note that many jackpot winners had only played a few spins when the jackpot hit – in the case of the Rags to Riches Slot winner at Intercasino “jas3516” - it took only five spins before hitting the massive progressive jackpot.
The problem with progressive slots from the player’s point of view is that they are cash cows for the casinos and therefore there can be long periods of play with very little return. A tiny amount from each spin goes up to make the progressive jackpot, but when the jackpot is won, the machine sets to a minimum amount – usually several thousands of dollars which has to be factored in when setting payout percentages. From a player’s point of view, progressive jackpot slots can be monotonous to play so casinos have come up with extra features on some slots, which not only add interest but also help to offset losing streaks. Microgaming’s King Cashalot has a bonus chest game triggered when three dragons appear on reels 2, 3 and 4 whereas Gold Rally has a bonus game based on a mining theme where players get to blast rocks for potentially high rewards. However, Gold Rally is not a cheap slot to play – at $16 a spin it eats bank rolls very quickly and although this is offset by the bonus round, you need a substantial bank roll to keep playing.
Microgamings Tunzamunni on the other hand is just 25c for maximum bet, and whilst jackpots may not be in the heady heights of millions of dollars – the jackpot frequently exceeds $50,000 a return of 200,000 your bet. If you do the Math you would find that the average return on Gold Rally is just half of that – with the average jackpot in the region of $1.5 million dollars. For a $16 that is just above a 100,000 return.
Progressive jackpots therefore are the stuff dreams are made from, millionaire makers offering instant riches beyond your wildest dreams, but play smart – play according to your bank roll and look for the best returns on your investment. Who knows, you may just find yourself on the list of big winners!
In October 1998, Microgaming released CashSplash – the internets very first progressive slot machine. Offering a minimum jackpot of $5,000 the slot became instantly popular, with the largest jackpot in its first year of operation being an impressive $91,365. Eight years on, the original 3 reel, $3 max play slot is still going strong, and it has now been joined by 13 additional progressive jackpot slots, responsible for turning 9 online gamblers into instant millionaires and thousands of others into big winners.
Major Millions. ( 3 Reel, 5 Reel and Mega Spin) Still the most popular of all Microgaming progressives, Major Millions was the first online slot to pay a jackpot of over $1 million dollars. In May 2002, Tony P won an amazing $1,594,649.21 as the slots first big winner. The original Major Millions is a 3 reel, 3 line slot, with a minimum jackpot of $250,000. 3 Major Millions symbols at max bet on the third pay line triggers the jackpot. The popularity of the slot has led to two additional versions – a five reel fifteen pay line version of the slot, which links to the same progressive and a multi hand version with the option to play up to 6 games at once, under the name Mega Spin. The largest win recorded to date on the slot is $1,779,827.44
King Cashalot King Cashalot, another slot with a jackpot which frequently exceeds $1 million, is a five reel, 9 pay line slot, with an additional bonus game, triggered when 3 dragons land on reels 2,3 and 4. During the bonus game, the player selects one of the treasure chests from those available – a sum of money is then offered which the player can either choose to accept or pick another chest for a potentially higher win. The player is offered 3 picks in total. The progressive jackpot is won, when five King Cashalot symbols, which double as Wild cards, appear on the ninth pay line when max coins are played. Coin value is fixed at 5c.
Treasure Nile Treasure Nile is Microgamings Egyptian themed progressive slot - a five reel, 9 pay line machine with a 50c fixed value. At $4.50 per spin it is the most expensive of the Microgaming progressives with the exception of the Mega Spin Major Millions slot. The jackpot is paid when five Pharaoh symbols appear on the ninth pay line when max bet is selected.
Tunzamunni Tunzamunni is a traditional 3 reel, one pay line slot, with a maximum bet value of just 25 cents. The jackpot frequently exceeds $50,000 offering an excellent potential return for a very small bet. In 2005, the first ever Tunzamunni jackpot winner hit the jackpot for an amazing second time, for $33,543 and $51,666.40 respectively. The jackpot is triggered when white, red and blue sevens appear on the win line in that order.
CashSplash ( 3 and 5 reels) Although CashSplash jackpots have been eclipsed by those of Major Millions and King Cashalot, the original progressive is still very popular. The CashSplash symbol is wild and lining up three on the pay line triggers the progressive. A new 5 reel version of the slot is also now available, linked to the same progressive as the 3 reel version.
WowPot, Lots of Loot and Fruit Fiesta ( 3 and 5 reel versions) WowPot, LotsaLoot and Fruit Fiesta were the second wave of Microgaming progressives, all being released in the year 2000. They are all essentially 3 reel slots with fixed coin value, at 25c for Fruit Fiesta and 50c for Wowpot and LotsaLoot. Five reel versions of all of these slots have also been released, again linking to the same progressive jackpots. Although the jackpots on these slots have never reached the heady heights reached by some of Microgamings later releases, the smaller jackpots are won more often – as record breaking jackpot winner Jean G will certainly testify, having won the LotsaLoot progressive jackpot no less than 8 times and winning over $383,595.35 in total.
So whether you are aiming to win a million or just a few thousand bucks, Microgaming offers an excellent selection of games to suit all bank rolls and ambitions. With new games being released at the rate of several every couple of months, it seems likely that in the future we will see even more Microgaming progressives, offering bigger jackpots and even more winning possibilities.