Walk into any casino out there and, rest assured, slot machines will be lined up as far as the eye can see. You don’t have to be an expert to use these, and they seem fairly simple, but let’s not doubt the complexity of these machines. It turns out there’s still a lot we don’t know about them. We’ve taken the liberty to assemble some of the lesser known facts about slots.
DID YOU KNOW:
- The United States, believe it or not, is actually not the head honcho when it comes to the sheer quantity of slot machines in one land mass. Forget Las Vegas – Japan is the top contender here. Research shows that there’s approximately one slot machine per 27 people. Factor in Japan’s sizeable population and you’ve got yourself a nearly inconceivable number of slot machines.
- The world’s largest slot was the Super Big Bertha. This beast of a machine was two metres wide and 2.5 metres high. Made back in the 1950s, this jacked-up monstrosity cost $150,000 to make, which was a lot of money back then (close to $1.2 million dollars now) and featured eight reels with 20 symbols on each one. Unfortunately, old Bertha went on to retire and now only exists as a slots legend. At the moment, the Queen’s Machine, squatting in the Four Queens Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, holds the crown of largest active slot.
- On a spookier note, did you know that the white, blank spots on slot machine reels are called “ghosts”? Think about that the next time you’re feeling superstitious at the casino. While you’re watching the reels, there’s no knowing what’s watching you back.
- We’ve all spun through images of lemons and cherries in more traditional slot machines, and that’s because packs of chewing gum used to be dispensed from them. The fruit symbols indicated what gum flavour you would receive.
- The all-time biggest payout to come from a slot machine happened on March 21, 2003. A whopping $39.7 million landed into the hands of a 25-year-old software engineer from Los Angeles. His winnings came in 25 annual payments of approximately $1.5 million.