Could you imagine winning a jackpot of $43 million only to find out the very next day that the slot machine malfunctioned and that you'd really only won around $2.25? That's exactly what happened to Katrina Bookman earlier this year.
In late August of this year, Katrina Bookman went to Resorts World Casino in Jamaica, Queens where she thought she'd hit a massive jackpot of $42,949,672. This would have been the largest slot machine amount won in US history, and Bookman even took a selfie with the slot machine showing the winning amount. Bookman told CNN affiliate WAB, "I can't even describe the feeling. It's like my whole body just got numb." When she returned to the casino the next day to claim her winnings her excitement was quickly squashed. Bookman asked a casino employee "What did I win?" to which the employee replied "You didn't win nothing."
The New York Gamming Commission said that Bookman's machine had malfunctioned and that the machine that Bookman was using, as well as every machine in the casino has a disclaimer "Malfunctions void all pays and plays." As a consolation prize, the casino offered Bookman a steak dinner. "All I could think about was my family," Bookman told WABC. Bookman had grown up in foster care and had raised four children as a single mother.
The casino told WABC that upon finding out about the situation, they immediately pulled the machine off the casino floor to fix it, and it is now up and running again. The Gamming Commission has said that by law they can only award Bookman her actual winnings of $2.25 that was printed by the machine.
Bookman has hired an attorney, Alan Ripka, who released a statement: "They win, and now the house doesn't want to pay out. To me that's unfair." He is fighting for the casino to award the maximum amount allowed by the Sphinx slot machine - $6,500. "The machine takes the money when you lose. It ought to pay it when you win," said Ripka.
Resorts World spokesman, Dan Bank, told CNN, "Upon being notified of the situation, casino personnel were able to determine that the figure displayed on the penny slot was an obvious malfunction, a fact later confirmed by the NY State Gamming Commission. "After explaining the circumstances to Ms. Bookman, we offered to pay her the correct amount that was shown on the printed ticket. Machine malfunctions are rare, and we would like to extend our apologies to Ms. Bookman for any inconvenience this may have caused."
"I should win the maximum. And I feel like I should treat him-the casino employee- to that steak dinner."