Casino Jackpot Timeline

Way back in the 1940s and 1950s when slot machines were first installed in Las Vegas casinos, players would have been thrilled to win even 100x their bet. The maximum payout was around 250x the bet, which was wonderful but not exactly Earth-shattering. It wasn’t till the 1980s when the idea of the enormous progressive jackpot was born, and casinos have never been the same since. The chance to turn a tiny bet into a massive amount of cash is now one of the biggest draws of casino games, both online and in real life.

While brick and mortar casino jackpots such as the Megabucks progressive jackpot slots are impressive, online casinos have redefined the way that progressive jackpots are awarded. Online, more players have access to the games, jackpots grow faster, and wins have become increasingly large. Let’s take a look at the recent history of online jackpots to see just how far things have come in such a short amount of time.

  • March 2001
    Although slot jackpots had already been around for awhile, other games had rarely ever awarded large jackpots. This changed in March, 2001, when a Caribbean Stud Poker player at The Sands of the Caribbean Casino took home £150,000 by winning the progressive jackpot.
  • June 2004
    This was the first year that a European player become an instant millionaire by winning an online jackpot. Joaquim M hit a Microgaming slot jackpot at the appropriately-name Jackpot City Casino for £937,171 (which was more than one million Euro at the time) in June of 2004 and received the entire payout within days.
  • October 2005
    A mind-blowing £3.15 million in jackpots is paid out to more than 100 different players in October 2005 by just one game: Jackpot Madness by Microgaming.
  • May 2006
    Microgaming’s Jackpot Madness becomes the first ever progressive jackpot game to award a total amount in excess of $200 million (£129 million) in May of 2006.
  • November 2006
    One of the very first repeat jackpot winners was Leah A, from the United Kingdom. Despite winning almost £280,000 on the Mega Millions slot game she continued to play and just a few hours later hit the jackpot again, this time for around £160,000.
  • May 2007
    An InterCasino player hits an enormous £4 million jackpot on the Millionaire’s Club slot and in disbelief, phones the casino’s customer service number to confirm that he actually won. Two weeks later the exact same game would be hit by a different player for more than £2.5 million.
  • July 2007
    Heinrich S hits the largest ever Playtech jackpot up until that point, taking more in excess of £3 million on the Beach Life slot game at the African Palace Casino.
  • April 2008
    A regular online poker player, Klaus E from Finland one day decided that he was a little bored and decided to try his hand at online slots. It was a good decision, as he hit the progressive jackpot on the Mega Moolah slot and won himself a little over £3.5 million.
  • May 2009
    A new record for the Mega Moolah jackpot is reached as Greek player Giorgios M wins nearly £5.5 million while playing at the online River Belle Casino.
  • September 2011
    The largest ever online jackpot is won by a 20-year-old Norwegian while playing the NetEnt Mega Fortune slot at the Betsson Casino. Guinness World Records has confirmed his incredible win of £10,272,600 as the largest ever jackpot won online.
  • February 2012
    The largest ever UK jackpot winner is crowned after a Scottish player placed a £1 bet on the Beach Life slot machine and turned that into a £5.1 million progressive jackpot win.
  • June 2012
    One of the largest ever UK bingo jackpots is won by Lisa P from Oxfordshire at Ladbrokes Bingo who turned to online bingo after she got sick of her parter ignoring her to watch football on TV.

The Future of Progressive Jackpots Games

According to a report researched and published by the media analyst Carmen Media, the average online progressive jackpot will be over $1 million by 2018. According to recent conversion rates, that equals about £750,000.