Slots player Katrina Bookman thought she had won $42.9 million in late August at Resorts World Casino in Queens, New York. However, the jackpot casino slots machine later turned out to be malfunctioning, which meant that the casino decided not to pay out her winnings based on the casino's policy.
Katrina is no stranger to disappointment, having been homeless as a teen and raising four children on her own. She had already made plans in her mind regarding what to do with the winnings, which included buying a barber shop for her son and giving back to the community.
After winning the jackpot, Katrina was surrounded by the casino's personnel and customers. Later on, she was escorted to the casino floor, where she was instructed to return tomorrow for the decision. After returning, a casino representative explained to her that she did, in fact, not win anything. Still, the casino did offer to treat her to a steak dinner.
Alan Ripka, Katrina's attorney, believes that this is unfair. According to Ripka, Katrina should at least be eligible for winning $6,500, the maximum allowed on the casino’s Sphinx machine. He believes that if the machine takes your money when you lose, it should pay you when you win.
The New York State Gaming Commission offered an explanation for the casino's decision. They said that Katrina's machine malfunctioned, and all machines notify the players that all pays and plays are void in case of malfunction.
According to the Commission, the machine was pulled immediately after the incident, fixed, and returned shortly afterwards.
Katrina still believes that she is entitled to the maximum payout and is planning to sue the casino. The Commission said that she is only entitled to her winnings of 2 dollars and 25 cents.