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Man Wins $57 Million, Casino Won’t Pay Due To ‘Software Glitch’

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Every now and then my friends and I will go to either Turning Stone, or Vernon Downs. Occasionally we win, but chances are we don’t. When we do, both casinos are great at giving us the prize, and there are zero issues. I’ve never been told that I’m “not allowed to collect”. I can’t imagine seeing that I won a major jackpot, and not being able to collect.

Behar Merlaku a 26-year-old Kosovar Albanian, reportedly pushed the buttons on a slot machine in Austria, when it suddenly told him he had won a lot of money: forty-three million euros which is just under $57 million. When Merlaku tried to collect his prize, he was told he couldn’t, and instead was offered around $100 for a free meal. The Casino insisted that he’d only had four of the five matches on his slot machine, and that Merlaku’s machine was suffering from a “software error”.

Merlaku didn’t accept the casino’s dinner and demanded the cash and the casino reportedly banned him. When he pressed for his dues legally, the casino tried to pass it off to the folks who had made the slot machine. Merlaku was quoted saying: “The jackpot came up loud and clear. There was music and the sum I had won–nearly 43 million euros–was displayed on a screen.”

The case has its first hearing in January and it will be interesting to see whether the casino produces a software expert to help it defend its case.

Could you imagine if this happened to you? I’d be flipping out!


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