Just recently, British jackpot history was made when an anonymous winner managed to score over £184m from EuroMillions, making it the largest single lottery win in British history. And, if you’re anything like us (and, let’s be honest, like the majority of the UK population), you immediately started fantasizing on what you’d do with the cash if you ever got a hold of it! Some people will settle their debts, buy a house and invest most of the rest in order to provide themselves with sustainable income for the rest of their lives. We call those people boring! Dream big! Personally, we’d reenact the episode of “South Park” where Eric Cartman buys an amusement park and keeps it exclusive to himself, except we’d buy a casino instead. Why share the roulette table with others when it’s so much more entertaining to watch some poor croupier yell out the numbers to exactly one person?
Whether your dream purchase is a private casino or boring, one thing’s for sure – to spend that sweet jackpot, first you need to win it. Of course, we don’t need to tell you that the chance of winning such an extraordinary sum from online slot games isn’t exactly high, as you’re statistically more likely to have a Hollywood celebrity over for brunch rather than win a sum like that. That’s why it’s called a “dream”, as dreams aren’t supposed to be feasible or practical. However, that doesn’t mean that many people haven’t achieved that exact dream. So let’s take a deep dive into the biggest jackpots ever won in the UK, check out the slots and casinos that made them into a reality, and maybe even give you a few pointers on how you can make the list yourself!
Believe it or not, only two slots are responsible for the UK’s biggest jackpots. While many slots boast progressive jackpots that reach up to £500k, maybe a million, very few manage to actually award players the life-changing sum of £5 million or higher. One of those two is Mega Fortune, created by none other than NetEnt. We’ve never been shy about praising NetEnt as some of the greatest slot masters, with games such as “Gonzo’s Quest” and “Street Fighter II” not only being massively popular, but also an absolute blast to play thanks to their excellent animations and fun mechanics. “Mega Fortune” does, admittedly, seem like a bit of an outlier, as it doesn’t really have those flashy 3D animations or the fun bonus mechanics that spike up the gameplay of the aforementioned games.
What it does have, however, is one of the biggest progressive jackpots in the UK, and actually a pretty clever way to win it. There are two bonus games in “Mega Fortune”, one of which awards you free spins with a multiplier should you get 3 Scatter symbols on your reels – fairly basic stuff. The other one, however, is far more intriguing. If you’re lucky enough to trigger it in the first place (which, believe us, isn’t easy at all), you’ll activate a small bonus game where you get to spin a wheel of prizes.
Should you manage to land on an arrow after your spin, you move into the middle part, where the prizes are much bigger (including the Rapid jackpot), but the arrows are also much scarcer, now only appearing on every 6th spot instead of every 2nd. If you happen to hit an arrow once more, you go into the big leagues, with the chance to win huge prizes. Two of the twelve spots will award you jackpots, one of which being the Major Jackpot, and the other the Mega Jackpot – aka, the one you want. This means that the chance of winning any jackpot at all is equal to rolling a six on a die, and the chance of winning the big bucks of the Mega Jackpot is equal to rolling a six on two dice – and that’s already after you’ve activated the bonus game and made your way through the two outermost wheels. We don’t need to tell you just how astronomically low your overall odds are.
With that said, there have been people who have won it. In 2015, a 30 year old Swede named Alexander was able to win €8.5 million by playing “Mega Fortune” at ComeOn Casino, with the jackpot also being notable for having been won on Alexander’s mobile device – which, in turn, makes it one of the biggest mobile wins ever recorded. Still, it’s dwarfed by the jackpots Mega Fortune paid out a few years prior. In 2011, a Norwegian student managed to win a grand €11.7 million from it while playing at Betsson Casino. According to the student, he was having a late night playing movies when he decided to use up some free spins he had received as a bonus from Betsson’s sports betting side – and, wouldn’t you know it, he hit the big one with them. So, despite what our parents say, staying up late watching movies can absolutely change your life! And yet, in the immortal words of Pedro Pascal, life is good – but it can be better. Only two years later, in 2013, a 40 year old from Helsinki managed to win an astounding €17.8 million from Mega Fortune, at the time the biggest slot win on record. Even today, “Mega Fortune” continues to pay out its jackpot, albeit with smaller sums – in July 2020, a Swedish player scored €2.6 million from Mega Fortune, giving the rest of us hope that one day we might still get our very own private casino!
Even if you don’t play slots all that much, there’s a decent chance that you’ve heard the name “Mega Moolah” – it is, after all, in the Guinness book of world records for biggest slot jackpot ever, and every time a contender like Mega Fortune pushes it out, it somehow manages to quickly claw its way back up, like the protagonist of a Japanese gambling anime. Even today, if you open the UK edition of the book, you’ll see Mega Moolah’s name shining on those glossy pages thanks to a huge win back in 2015. And what’s funny is that these gigantic sums of money are hidden behind a, frankly, quite ridiculous slot.
“Mega Moolah” was created by Microgaming, who are known for some excellent slots – “Jurassic Park”, and its sequel “Jurassic World”, are some of the best slots we’ve ever played, and “Immortal Romance” became a well-deserved phenomenon with its narrative and world-building. However, “Mega Moolah” simply isn’t… Good. The art genuinely looks like it was made by an elementary schooler, to the point where it almost seems like it was done on purpose, as an aesthetic choice. It doesn’t really have any interesting bonus games, not even in the already limited capacity of “Mega Fortune”.
And yeah, whoever made that bet proved themselves, because once you reach the kind of numbers that Mega Moolah very regularly awards its players, it doesn’t matter if the animals on the reels look a little, for lack of a better word, derpy – you’re going to be trembling in anticipation every time you see that wildebeest’s grinning mug.
So, what kind of jackpots are we talking about, exactly? Well, as we mentioned earlier, the world record which immortalized “Mega Moolah” ’s name in the big Guinness book was won in 2015 by a man from Cardiff by the name of J Heywood, who won the massive €17.9 million, just a bit north of the record set by “Mega Fortune” two years prior. And do you want to know the craziest thing? That’s not even the biggest jackpot ever won from “Mega Moolah”, it’s only the biggest one that was officially recognized by Guinness. In 2018, an anonymous player placed a 75 cent bet from his phone, and in return managed to win €18.9 million – and if it doesn’t seem that much higher than the previous record, just think of how much your life would change if you only got that €1 million difference between them. And if you think that “Mega Moolah” is done giving out huge jackpots, think again – only a few months ago, on April 19th 2021, another anonymous player managed to win €18.2 million, nearly as much as the record holder from three years prior. On average, “Mega Moolah” gives out about €50 a year spread between five or six wins, so even though it doesn’t look like much, the slot still keeps giving joy to quite a few people.
How to Win a Jackpot
All of these cool wins might have given you the idea to go out there and give it a shot yourself – after all, look at how many people have won these huge wins, odds should be pretty high for you to also make it big, right? And, well, our biggest advice for how to win a jackpot is simply: don’t. We’re not saying to give up on your jackpot if you happen to win it, of course, but certainly don’t go out of your way to place bets you wouldn’t have placed otherwise just for the sake of winning the jackpot. If you’ve noticed a pattern in the aforementioned record-breaking jackpots, it’s that most people won them with absurdly small bets, some even with free spins. Contrary to what logic might dictate, large and very frequent bets actually don’t increase your chances of winning at all. It’s a much better idea to make 2-3 very low-value spins per session rather than 15-20 or more expensive spins. In other words, play the slot as you would normally, and don’t worry about “maybe if I just spin one more time I’ll get the slot”. You won’t win, you’ll lose money and you’ll only be angry at yourself.
However, if – despite our advice – you still wish to maximize your chances of winning a big jackpot, there are a few small things you can do.
Information about many jackpots, such as “Mega Moolah”, is publicly available, and it’s easy to see certain patterns – for example, the overwhelming majority of “Mega Moolah” wins in the past few years have happened around the summer season, between late May and early September. While it’s not particularly uncommon to win at any time of the year (in 2019 there were 12 jackpots, almost one per month), statistically you stand the best chance in summer. In addition, some jackpots only drop once they’ve reached a certain amount – “Hall of Gods”, another popular jackpot slot, has been at less than €3 million when won only 3 times in the last 10 year, with most wins happening at around €6-7 million – which gives you a good indication of when you’re most likely to win it. The jackpot has never reached €8 million, so if you see it hovering at over €7 million that means it’s ready to pop, and it would be a good idea to give “Hall of Gods” a few spins.
There are dozens of slots with progressive jackpots out there, and while “Mega Moolah” is being won every every few months (sometimes even every month), “Jackpot Giant” was last won in 2019, and its €6 million jackpot is pretty much ripe for the taking. A slot which tends to drop smaller sums less regularly is also a good candidate, such as “Arabian Nights”, which gives out jackpots of around €1.5 million roughly every 150 days, is also a great candidate. Try to monitor when the last jackpot has dropped, and if it hasn’t been won in a period of time longer than the average wait time, then it might be a good idea to put in a few spins.
Again, we can’t stress this enough – winning a jackpot is not only pure luck, but it also has astronomically low odds. A lot of people end up being lured into spending absurd amounts of money (often that they can’t really spare) into chasing a jackpot, because hey, what’s a few thousand pounds when you’re getting 6-7 million in return, right? Wrong! It’s statistically unlikely to see any significant return of investment on excessive gambling. So don’t fall into that trap. Our advice? Keep that “dream purchase” in the back of your mind, and if it happens, it happens. If not, well, that’s what dreams are for, right? Now, if you’ll excuse us, we need to go draw up the plans for our private casino!