Your Voice Your Vote 2024

Live results
Last Updated: April 23, 10:42:16PM ET

Woman Wins $42 Million Jackpot? Not So Fast

Woman at a Colorado slot machine hit the jackpot, but casino claims malfunction.

ByABC News via logo
March 29, 2010, 9:33 PM

March 30, 2010 — -- When the lights and bells went off at a slot machine at the Fortune Valley Casino, in Central City, Colo., Louise Chavez thought she had the win of a lifetime -- $42 million.

But after the casino claimed the machine malfunctioned, all Chavez got was a few dollars, some free meals and a room for the night.

Colorado gaming officials are investigating the incident, but said it could be nothing more than an unfortunate computer glitch. Chavez may not see a dime.

"I put my money in there," Chavez told "Good Morning America." "Whatever I won, I should get... There are dreams and there are things I'd like to do -- helping my family, helping my kids. That's why I'm disappointed. I just don't know."

The Denver woman can remember all too clearly when she thought her life had changed.

"All of a sudden I saw the light come on on top of the machine," Chavez told "Good Morning America." "I'm like, 'Oh, my God! Oh, my God!' I'd never had this feeling before in my life, never."

The payout she was expecting? $42,949,673. She said she usually makes about $12,000 per year as an in-home personal care provider.

But champagne and caviar dreams quickly evaporated. Casino employees told Chavez the slot machine had malfunctioned.

"We've been open for 15 years at Fortune Valley and this is the first time we've had something of this magnitude," Fortune Valley communications director Joe Behm said.

Phone calls requesting comment from the slot machine manufacturer, WMS Industries of Waukegan Ill., were not returned to ABC News.

Chavez said the casino offered only to comp her room and meals and give her back about $20 she'd put into the machine.

"My emotions changed from excited, thrilled to very upset," she said.

"It's unfortunate when it happens," said Colorado Division of Gaming spokesman Don Burmania. "We don't like it to happen, the casinos don't like it to happen and in this case, the patron didn't like it, either."

Click here to return to the "Good Morning America" Web site.