N.H. couple wins big on Las Vegas slot machine

The Lion’s Share, a Las Vegas slot machine notorious for stubbornly holding onto its mounting jackpot over the past 21 years, finally relinquished its prize to a lucky couple from New Hampshire, who walked away with $2.4 million.

Walter and Linda Misco were on a Vegas vacation Friday when Walter decided, on a whim, to put a $100 bill into the Lion’s Share machine, the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino’s oldest and most popular reel-type slot machine, according to an announcement by the gaming company.

Walter Misco had been pulling the handle on the old-fashioned machine, at $3 per turn, for about five minutes before three green Lion’s Share icons lined up for the jackpot, according to the statement.


“Every time I walked by, there were five or six people lined up. But at 11 o’clock was my window of opportunity. There was nobody there, so I sat down,” Misco said in a statement. “I put $100 in the machine and had $127 in credits when it hit. I’d probably been playing for five minutes.”

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Because of the Lion’s Share machines’ lack of popularity, MGM Grand began removing the devices from the casino in the mid-1990s, according to the statement. However, under gaming regulations, MGM could not remove any machine until it hit its jackpot — leaving this particular machine to rise to international fame because of its compounding jackpot.

Misco, 66, is a retired business owner. Linda Misco, also 66, works for the family business, according to the release. They said they planned to use a portion of the money to pay their grandchildren’s way through college.

“Linda told me I should play it. So I was really only doing what any good husband would do — following directions,” Walter Misco said.

When her husband hit the jackpot, Linda Misco was in their room sleeping.


“I called to wake her up and asked her to come downstairs, I had something to show her,” Walter Misco said. “I can’t tell you what she said when she got here, but it began with ‘Holy!’ ”

Trisha Thadani can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @TrishaThadani.