Contrary to the popular saying, lightning can, and does, strike the same place twice. Metaphorically speaking, it did so at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa in Tampa, Florida in December 2021 and January 2022. On December 22, a female resident of nearby Clearwater, who requested to be identified only by her first name, Gloria, staked $50 on a spin of Dragon Link – a 5×3-reel, 50-payline progressive jackpot slot machine – and won over $1.2 million. At that point, she said, ‘All I wanted for Christmas was to hit that progressive jackpot. I still can’t believe my holiday wish came true.’
Lo and behold, on January 9, she returned to the casino and, unbelievably, hit the progressive jackpot – which was, once again, over $1 million – for a second time on the same machine. Apparently, the odds against winning the progressive jackpot just once are estimated at 60,000,000/1, so ‘Gloria’ actually defied odds of 3,600,000,000,000,000/1 by doing so twice.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, which is owned and operated by the federally recognised Seminole Tribe of Florida, features one of the largest casinos in the United States, with approximately 5,000 slot machines. Seminole Gaming operates a loyalty member program, known as ‘Seminole Wild Card’; by way of celebrating two Dragon Link jackpots in the space of three weeks, any slot machine player who inserted their loyalty card within 15 minutes of the second jackpot earned $100 in free credits. A total of 624 slot players did so, costing the casino an additional $62,400, but even that amount represented the proverbial ‘drop in the ocean’ when compared with the progressive jackpot payouts.