IGT Introduces MegaJackpots Progressive Slots to New Jersey
International Game Technology (IGT) announced it has launched IGT MegaJackpots, the first wide-area progressive (WAP) product in the United States. IGT is known for having huge progressive jackpot slot machines like MegaBucks Slots and Wheel of Fortune Slots.
IGT MegaJackpots Slots will be featured on four New Jersey online websites: CaesarsCasino.com, MoheganSunCasino.com, ResortsCasino.com, and HardRockCasino.com.
The jackpot pool starts at a base amount of $500,000 which is seeded by IGT. As players wager on the game (and do not win the progressive), the jackpot increases.
Progressive jackpot slots have no upward limit, though game designers with knowledge of mathematics and probability can guess a likely range of when an accumulated jackpot game might hit. Much like multi-state lottery associations like Powerball and Mega Millions, progressive slots are designed to hit the jackpot often enough to give players hope they can win the pot, but also reach a critical mass when word of mouth reaches the gaming community of the huge jackpot.
What Are Wide-Area Progressives (WAPs)?
Wide-area progressives link many slot machines in the same network, so each gaming machine feeds into the same pot. Since the gaming network is linked over a wide area and dozens of gaming machines, the accumulated jackpot grows faster than local-area progressives.
MegaJackpots could be a game changer for the online casinos involved, because buzz about the game will be spread on the Internet and in New Jersey’s gaming community. The game is also a major step forward for IGT, which has been a leader in electronic slots design since they first became possible in the late 1970s.
Enrico Drago on MegaJackpots
Enrico Drago, SVP of IGT’s PlayDigital line, said of MegaJackpots, “Launching the first cross-platform online WAP games in the U.S. reinforces IGT’s commitment and leadership in delivering ‘industry-first’ innovation that elevates the player experience across multiple channels.”
“IGT’s MegaJackpots games continue to entertain players in the U.K. and other mature digital gaming markets around the world, and we believe our customers in New Jersey will benefit from incorporating life-changing jackpots on proven themes such as Cleopatra and Siberian Storm into their digital content offerings.”
IGT has two slot machines in the WAP: MegaJackpots Cleopatra and MegaJackpots Siberian Storm. Over time, MegaJackpots’ designers will add new games with much different themes to the wide-area network. While slots players are drawn to progressive jackpots, not all gamblers like the same themes.
IGT’s Progressive Jackpots
IGT was the inventor of progressive jackpots. Its Wheel of Fortune Progressive Slot is the most popular slot machine of all time. Wheel of Fortune Slots not only launched the craze for licensed slots, but it also began an mass escalation in progressive slots when it got popular in the 1990s.
Later in the 1990s, MegaBucks was designed by IGT to put all other progressive slot machines to shame — and it did. As late as 2012, the 8 biggest progressive jackpots in the history of slot machines were MegaBucks jackpots.
Megabucks’ prize money was so legendary that an urban legend grew that the people who won the progressive jackpot suffered from a curse. The urban legend seems to have sprung from the sad case of Cynthia Jay-Brennan, a Las Vegas cocktail waitress who won $34,955,489.56 on a MegaBucks slot machine, then was hit by a drunk driver 6 weeks later — leaving Cynthia paralyzed and her sister dead.
Of course, similar urban legends sprang up about the Mega Millions and Powerball lottery winners. Such things happen often enough that a few winners will have tragedies or misfortune happen to them. In either case, one or two people’s misfortune does not make a curse.
IGT MegaJackpots Urban Legend?
IGT’s MegaJackpots game in New Jersey has the potential to produce jackpots large enough that it might produce an urban legend or two. Many New Jersey online gamblers are going to play MegaJackpots on the Caesars, Resorts Casino, Hard Rock Casino, and Mohegan Sun websites. A lucky handful will win a progressive jackpot.
Those who don’t will talk about what might have been, and perhaps take a small amount of satisfaction from thinking those who won suffered misfortune. What is certain is that few who hear the MegaJackpots legends and like to play for big jackpots will be scared away from giving the game a try.