Tourists regularly slide any leftover money into the flashy slot machines in the departure gates at the Las Vegas airport while waiting for their flights home –a last hurrah before returning to reality.
Occasionally, the bet pays off big time.
On Thursday, a Texas woman won a $302,000 jackpot on a Wheel of Fortune slot machine in the B concourse, which is home to Southwest Airlines. The airport has 1,400 slot machines in baggage claim and the gate areas to entice travelers coming and going, but just 500 are in operation today due to COVID-19 restrictions.
A video of the jackpot winner’s reaction posted to Twitter by Las Vegas Locally went viral.
Las Vegas McCarran International Airport congratulated her on the win with a Twitter post on Friday.
The social media reactions to her win ranged from jealousy (“Put $200 in this machine just days ago. Happy I could make my contribution.”) to questions about whether the lucky winner canceled her flight and stayed in Las Vegas.
The $302,000 jackpot is not an airport record. The record is a $3.96 million jackpot, airport spokeswoman Christine Crews said.In July, a visitor from California won $873,000.