Over two dozen people form a line stretching through the casino floor at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. And no, it’s not boxing fans waiting to purchase tickets to Floyd Mayweather’s next fight. Instead high roller hopefuls camp out for three to four hours to play the legendary Lions Share slot machine, which hasn't paid out its progressive jackpot in 20 years. The elusive jackpot is now over $2.3 million and one of the most popular slots in Sin City.
Justin Andrews, executive director of slot operations at MGM Grand, confirmed the machine is in constant demand, “The button gets pressed once every 5 seconds for a majority of the day, it’s very rare to walk by the game and see someone not playing it.”
The Lion’s Share is the last of its kind. The only remaining three reel slot machine on the casino floor from when MGM Grand opened its doors two decades ago.
While MGM is not obligated to keep this outdated game on the floor, loyal Lion’s Share fans have no need to worry; MGM doesn't have any immediate plans to put the lion to sleep any time soon.
“I could move this jackpot to equal or lesser denomination game, but I wouldn’t do that because of the game's following and history. There would be a lot of upset customers,” explained Andrews.
The Lion’s Share might be the hottest slot on the floor, but it’s not the largest jackpot. MGM’s “Mega Bucks” has paid out $10 million twice in the past year and yet Mega Bucks doesn’t have a line.
It’s hard to figure out why gamblers are so enamored with the Lion’s Share. It’s not a fancy game with flashing lights and high tech video screens. The machine is so ancient, it still accepts cash, $3 per spin if you want to hit the jackpot, while most slots today use an electronic ticket. And to win the ultimate prize you only have to line up three lions in a row. Sounds simple, right?
Not so fast, MGM says this machine may never pay out because the chance of winning the Lion’s Share is much smaller now that it’s the only progressive slot left out of the 50 originals. What most slot gamblers don’t understand: odds are set for each specific jackpot on a game, there is no guarantee the machine will pay out each time.
Andrews explained, “If a jackpot has one in a thousand chance of hitting it doesn’t mean that it must hit every once in thousand times it's pushed. It just means every spin has one in thousand odds of hitting that jackpot.”
Despite the slim chances of winning, it’s still fun to wonder, if you scored the jackpot, how would you splurge the $2.3 million?
Here are 7 ridiculous ways you could burn your money in Vegas if you hit the Lion’s Share.
|$58,000 bottle of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti “Romanee-Conti” Burgundy 1995|
First, why not celebrate by cracking open a $58,000 bottle of wine.
The Bellagio is not only famed for its elegant design inspired by Lake Cuomo in Italy. The hotel’s wine program is one of the most prestigious in Sin City.
The Romanee-Conti is one the rarest Pinot Noir’s on the planet and with fewer than 6,000 bottles produced per year it’s also the most expensive. Bellagio’s Master Sommelier Jason Smith describes the taste as a “very complex aromas of red cherries, ripe raspberries and violets with generous flavors of damp earth and wet leaves. There is also a touch of barnyard funkiness.”
While you sip on a glass of The Romanee-Conti, from the Burgundy region of France, Smith and art director Richard Wonderly III will take you for a stroll through the Bellagio’s gallery of fine art to pair the Bellagio’s most esteemed cellar collection with exquisite original paintings from Picasso.
|$30,000 Marcus Aurelius villa at Caesars Palace|
After all that drinking, you shouldn’t be driving. So you might want to get a $30,000 suite at Caesars Palace. These exclusive suites used to be reserved only for the casino’s elite VIP guests. Now for the first time ever, Caesars’s is opening its Anthology villas to anyone who can pony up the dough.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the 9,500 square foot “Marcus Aurelius Villa” is fit for a king. The perks include luxe amenities such as a private elevator, exotic fish tank, grand piano, double-sided fireplace and 24-hour butler service. Each room features high-end furnishings designed with custom carved walnut. The media room comes equipped with theater-style seating, massage chairs and a large flat panel television.
By now, you must have worked up an appetite. If you stop by the famous restaurant Fleur at Mandalay Bay you can indulge in Chef Hubert Keller’s $5,000 creation, earmarked as the most expensive burger in the world. Now I always thought $16 was pricey for a sandwich, but this Kobe Beef burger comes topped with foie gras and shaved black truffle on a brioche truffle bun and that’s not all. What really pushes up the price tag is a bottle of Chateau Petrus 1995, imported from Italy, poured in Ichendorf Brunello stemware. And get this, after your meal the restaurant will ship the glasses to your home at no additional charge. Go figure, the burger did just cost you $5,000.
|$1,090 Couples Romance Spa Package|
All that excitement. You’ll need to relax. Why not sign you and your sweetie up for a romantic hot stone couples massage at Aria’s spa suites. The package includes a lavish hydrotherapy tub to soothe away body tension before your massage with warm basalt stones. You can also unwind in a coconut milk bath while sipping champagne and savoring chocolate ganache.
|$160,000 Cherry Blossom Necklace|
Another sin in sin city, is shopping. There's no shortage of shopping on the strip from Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian to the upscale Shops at Crystals. Redo your wardrobe or simply treat yourself to $160,000 Cherry Blossom Necklace from the luxury pearl company, Mikimoto. This extravagant necklace that costs more than many Americans' homes is set in 18 karat white gold and adorned with South Sea cultured pearls, diamonds and pink sapphires.
|$2,400 Dassai Sake|
Famished after all that shopping? Stop by the Monte Carol’s most inventive restaurant Yusho.
Yusho’s menu is inspired from Japanese street food and you can order double fried Thai chile Chicken wings or savor the taste of crispy cod steamed buns with fresh herbs and citrus notes all, while sipping on a clean and crisp $2,400 bottle of sake.
The sake Dassai is made at the Asahi Shuzo brewery in south Japan. Why is this sake so expensive? The more heavily milled and highly refined the rice, the more elegant and delicate the sake.
Yusho’s General Manager Joshua Wolf explained in order to make Dassai, the brewery Yamada Nishik “strips away most of the rice grain and leaves only 18 percent for distilling. This is a rare and expensive process, but the kernel of rice that remains creates delicate and elegant sake.”
|$250,000 Control Bellagio’s Fountain Songs|
A trip to Vegas wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t stop by Bellagio’s world famous free fountain show. Every 15 minutes from 8 p/m. until midnight over 4,700 lights along with 1,200 fountains shoot water 460 feet in the air, dancing to songs from Frank Sinatra and Celine Dion.
But if you want to pick the music, that will cost you a pretty penny: $250,000 to be exact.
That’s right, for the same price as a ticket to travel into outer space on Virgin Galactic, you can sit center stage on Hyde nightclub’s patio overlooking the fountains and a gold box will be delivered to your table with a menu of the fountain songs.
For this price you would think you could keep the gold box, but instead, Hyde will deliver a gold 30-liter bottle of Ace of Spades champagne, the equivalent of 40 champagne bottles!