Technical glitch caused reporting failure
Where I live, I don’t need a true winter coat all that often, so my heavy, warm jacket tends to gather dust in the closet. One day, several years ago, I broke it out and to my great surprise, I found a $20 bill in an interior pocket. Found money is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? And while I will always be happy to find a long, lost twenty, it is a far cry from riffling through my pockets to retrieve over $200,000 that I didn’t know I had. That’s effectively what happened recently to an Arizona man who found out he won a slots jackpot weeks after the fact.
According to a news release from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) last Friday, it was able to track down Robert Taylor, who won a $229,368.52 jackpot at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in early January, but never knew it because the slot machine never told him.
The NGCB said that a “communications error” occurred in the machine, preventing both Taylor and casino staff from having any idea that he had won the progressive jackpot. One would think that he would have seen he hit some sort of big score – at least a lesser jackpot – but then again, today’s slots can be complicated and perhaps he was rapid-fire playing and doesn’t notice his wins unless the machine starts doling out the credits.
Authorities investigated for two weeks
It is unclear how exactly it was determined that Taylor had won. The NGCB simply said that an “extensive review of the slot machine and the communications technology was completed,” which could mean that it was a routine check that found a discrepancy or that some discrepancy was noticed and then the review was conducted. Either way, Taylor had already returned home to Arizona and nobody knew he was the person who won the jackpot. All they knew was that the jackpot hit and someone should have been paid.
The casino couldn’t figure out who had won, so the NGCB’s Enforcement Division got involved. Agents combed through security footage at multiple casinos, interviewed potential witnesses, studied electronic purchase records, and even looked at local rideshare data. They finally determined that it was Robert Taylor who was the lucky winner.
NGCB Enforcement Division chief James Taylor said it took “countless hours” across two weeks to identify Taylor as the winner and thanked all those involved for their hard work.
In addition to making sure the winnings wound up in the proper hands, Taylor added that the resolution was important for “ensuring that the public trust in the gaming industry remains strong.”
Officials notified Robert Taylor of his good fortune (and literal fortune) on January 28, three weeks after his slots spin. He picked up his winnings from the casino over weekend; hopefully Treasure Island paid for his travel expenses and comped him a room.