You may recall that last week we brought you news of one lucky Unibet Casino player who landed a $266k win from a single free spin on the Mercy Of The Gods slot game on the site. That progressive jackpot win, earned by a player known only as K.S. was Unibet’s biggest win of the year to date.
We always like to hear about players winning big when they bet at a sportsbook site, or with a casino, either online, or in the real world, so with that in mind, we decided to take a look at some of the people who, over the years have earned a reputation as being some of the biggest winners at a casino in history.
Of course, there is also the flip side of the story too and there are some sadder tales to tell of players that won big, but also then went on to lose all the money that they were fortunate enough to pocket.
With that in mind, let’s learn about some of the luckiest people ever to set foot inside a casino.
Ashley Revell – 2004
Have you ever wondered whether you would have the nerve to bet everything you had on the single spin of a roulette wheel. Back in 2004, 32-year-old Ashley Revell decided to do just that. He sold everything he owned and amassed a fortune of £80,0000 (at the time worth around $135,000).
After negotiations with the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino fell through, the Plaza Hotel & Casino stepped in and allowed Ashley to place his all-or-nothing wager. It was a simple choice, one spin of the roulette wheel and then place all the money on red or black.
With the spin being shown live on satellite TV, Revell could not decide where to place his bet. He initially started to place his bet on black, before switching to red at the last minute.
As the reel span the ball settled into the Red number 7 slot, Revell walked away with around $270,000 having almost doubled his money and set off on a trip around Europe to celebrate.
Mike Ashley – $1.83 million
Mike Ashley is the billionaire owner of a Newcastle United football club and a high street retail empire. He is also known to frequent the many casinos around London. One evening he went into the Fifty London casino intending to play roulette for no more than 15 minutes.
However, Mr Ashley spent his time wisely as on this particular evening, the luck was on his side. After 15 minutes of play, the billionaire had increased his small change to the tune of $1.83 million.
Kerry Packer – $30 – $40 million
It is hard to calculate how much money Kerry Packer, another billionaire, won and lost during his frequent spells playing at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas. It is estimated that the Australian won around $33 million over the course of a year or so from the casino, however he was just as likely to spend the money he won back with the casino.
He also suffered losing streaks, such as one three-week spell at a number of London casinos where it is estimated he lost around AU$28 million. He reputedly lost £19 million playing blackjack at the Ritz Hotel in London, which even had a room exclusively for his use.
He also allegedly offered to toss a coin in a $60,000,000 bet with a Texan oil baron, who bragged “I’m worth $60,000,000” to which Packer took out a coin from his pocket and said “heads or tails?”.
He was also sometimes generous to the workers at the casino, reportedly offering tips totalling $1,000,000.
Archie Karas – $40 million
Archie Karas is best known for his famous “run” of good fortune at the poker tables when he turned $50 into a total win of over $40 million. After losing his entire bankroll, in December 1992, Karas drove to Las Vegas in his car with $50 in his wallet.
He met a fellow poker player from Los Angeles and convinced him to loan him $10,000. Karas turned that quickly into $30,000 profit playing $200/$400 limit Razz, paying $20,000 back to his backer.
Karas then gambled that up to over $3,000,000 playing nine-ball pool, and after three months playing poker in Las Vegas this had increased to over $7 million. A litany of top poker players tried to beat him but Karas seemingly could not lose, amassing more than $17 million in total.
He then swelled this amount to over $40,000,000 by playing dice. Part of Karas legend is that he was willing to play at stakes that had never been heard of before, even by the biggest whales in Las Vegas.
However, by 1995, Karas good run of fortune was at an end. He lost $11m in dice in the space of three weeks in 1995, then lost a further $17 million playing baccarat. After a short break and down to $12 million, he started shooting dice and playing baccarat and lost everything bar his last million.
He has since gone on a number of smaller streaks but nothing to match his great run of fortune.
Elmer Sherwin – $4.6 Million & $21 million
It is incredible enough to win a massive amount of money once, but to do so twice, on the same game, is almost unheard of. That is only if you have not heard of the legendary Elmer Sherwin. The 76-year-old Sherwin walked into the Mirage Las Vegas to play the Powerball jackpot game and was amazed when he won a $4.6 million jackpot.
Fast forward 16 years and the now 92-year old millionaire winner was playing the same game at the same casino when he incredibly landed another jackpot, this time for over $21 million. Sherwin donated a large proportion of his winnings to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort and unfortunately he died a couple of years after his record-busting win.