People visit casinos hoping for the chance of hitting a large jackpot prize, while some players manage to outwit the odds and emerge multi-millionaires.
Don Johnson made over $15 Million after playing blackjack at Borgata, Caesars, and Tropicana casinos in Atlantic City. Greek immigrant Archie Karas also amassed substantial wealth while gambling there; $50 was enough for him to become a small fortune in Vegas!
Charles Wells traveled to Monte Carlo with two goals in mind – satisfying Jeannette Pairis’ desire for luxury while making a name for himself as a con man. He accomplished both quickly with an audacious attempt at breaking the bank at its roulette table.
Wells’ chosen numbers seemed to come up almost every time on the roulette wheel, leading him to accumulate wealth quickly before him. At times he “faire sauter la banque” (win all of the money at a given table). Casino managers soon limited his visits and guards were required to escort him out after each session.
Wells’ wins generated widespread debate, with some alleging he employed an infallible system and others alleging that he took advantage of a rigged wheel. No matter its true cause, Wells’ feat became an international sensation that inspired Fred Gilbert’s 1891 musical hall hit, The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo.
Amy Nishimura’s tale is one of perseverance and love for gambling – she stands as an inspiration to slot players across the globe and will live on long after she has passed away.
On Christmas Eve 2003 and just hours into her annual Las Vegas vacation, Hawaiian 71-year-old retiree held an enormous cheque in her hands. After having just eaten breakfast at Fremont Hotel’s Megabucks slot machine and hitting it big – she held onto that huge sum as an annual pension check from Hawaii!
At International Game Technology’s Red White and Blue machine for years, she had overcome odds of 16.7 million to one to find herself winning big! When told IGT spokeswoman Connie Fox of her success she discussed plans with spending it like paying off mortgage, visiting Vegas more often, or spoiling family.
Cynthia Jay Brennan
Gambling and casinos provide endless hours of excitement and allure, yet most would agree the odds are stacked against them. Yet some do manage to beat these odds and walk away with substantial winnings.
Cynthia Jay Brennan’s incredible story serves as a powerful reminder that luck can shift quickly.
Elmer Sherwin was another prime example, who won an astounding slot jackpot of more than 4 million dollars at age 75 and later another jackpot at age 92 – testaments to both his skills and dedication in gambling.
Kenny Smith is an Emmy Award-winning sports television commentator. Currently hosting Inside the NBA with Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Ernie Johnson on TNT; in addition to this career path Kenny also runs his own successful business and offers basketball camps each summer.
He grew up in LeFrak City, Queens and was inspired by his father’s insistence that he work hard toward reaching his goals. Later attending UNC where Dean Smith served as his coach.
Smith is married to Gwendolyn Osborne and has two children. He resides in Los Angeles, California. In 2021 he received the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award in recognition of his contribution to social justice movement as a leader and for creating opportunities for future leaders.
Mike Ashley is an acclaimed entrepreneur in retail and sports industries. He founded Sports Direct before entering department store industry through acquisition of House of Fraser department store in 2018. Additionally, Ashley owns Newcastle United Football Club as part of his success strategies which included buying and selling of brands.
Beginning his career as a squash player and county-level coach before opening his first sports shop in 1982. Since then, he has acquired numerous brands such as Donnay, Dunlop Slazenger Everlast Karrimor Kangol Lonsdale Firetrap.
He has been described as one of the UK’s eccentric billionaires, refusing interviews and attending industry events only rarely. Spotted carrying a briefcase made of plastic shopping bags after leaving a casino, and once depositing an entire roll of cash into a security gate’s tray upon leaving it.