An Arizona man’s $230,000 slots jackpot windfall almost never was after a malfunction left both him and the casino believing he hadn’t won. It took an investigation involving surveillance footage, witness interviews, and rideshare data analysis to finally track the gambler down and pay him his due!
The incredible story was revealed this month by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) when they announced in a press release that they had “secured the collection of a $229,368.52 jackpot”.
The lucky winner was Robert Taylor, but he was completely unaware for several weeks that he was being hunted down.
It all began when the Arizona man and his family were in Vegas, and Robert was playing a progressive slot machine at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino.
“On the evening of January 8, 2022, casino patron Robert Taylor … appeared to hit a jackpot on a progressive slot machine at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino.”
The slot screen showed the message, “Resolving progressive prize. Please wait,” but the Taylor family had dinner reservations and left the casino, unaware that the machine glitch was worth a fortune.
“He left the casino thinking the machine had malfunctioned and that he had not won,” NGCB chief of enforcement, James Taylor, told reporters.
No relation to the man who’d just won and walked out on $230,000, James Taylor explained to the Washington Post that casino staff paid Robert Taylor the $40 credit he had in the machine when it malfunctioned.
It was only two days’ later, when technicians fixed the machine, that the jackpot score came to light, and theNGCB team launched a manhunt that resembled a police crime investigation, but with a thankfully happier outcome.
“The Board initiated an extensive investigation, conducted by multiple agents of the Board’s Enforcement Division, to obtain the identity of the patron,” stated the press release. It added: “The investigation included the review of multiple hours of surveillance footage across multiple gaming properties, numerous witness interviews, a study of electronic purchase records, and the analysis of rideshare data obtained from the Nevada Transportation Authority and a rideshare company.” “We did a lot,” James Taylor explained, adding: “It took a while. It wasn’t overnight.”
In fact, it was three weeks before they could trace the Arizona man down, CCTV proving fruitless and James Taylor explaining:
“At that point, we didn’t think we could identify the person.”
The first breakthrough came when it was discovered that the family had used a ride-hailing service – “our Hail Mary pass” as James Taylor described it.
The credit card payment for the ride led NGCB investigators to Robert Taylor in Arizona, who managed to satisfy the board that it was indeed he who had been playing the malfunctioning machine.
Robert was invited back to Treasure Island to pick up his $229,368.52 jackpot prize, while his namesake at the NGCB singled out Agent Dan Nuqui for his role in the investigation.
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