Woman denied $43 million jackpot, offered steak dinner instead

Nov 3, 2016, 12:53 pm (61 comments)


It was a selfie she thought was worth nearly $43 million.

Katrina Bookman hit the jackpot on a slot machine in late August at Resorts World Casino in Jamaica, Queens. She even took an excited self-portrait with the machine displaying her winnings: $42,949,672. It would have been the largest slot machine jackpot in US history.

"I can't even describe the feeling. It's like my whole body just got numb," Bookman said.

But when she came back the next day to find out the exact size of her jackpot, a casino employee crushed her excitement.

"I said, 'So what did I win? He said, 'You didn't win nothing,'" she said.

The New York State Gaming Commission said that Bookman's machine had malfunctioned. The machine, like all the ones in the casino, has a disclaimer stating, "Malfunctions void all pays and plays."

Instead, the casino offered Bookman a complimentary steak dinner.

"All I could think about was my family," Bookman said, her voice breaking. She grew up in foster care and raised 4 children as a single mother.

The New York State Gaming Commission said that they immediately pulled the machine from the casino floor to fix it, and it is now up and running once again. The commission said that by law they can only award Bookman her actual winnings of $2.25, printed by the machine.

"They win, and now the house doesn't want to pay out. To me that's unfair," says Bookman's attorney, Alan Ripka. He's fighting for the casino to pay Bookman the maximum amount allowed by the Sphinx slot machine — $6,500.

"The machine takes the money when you lose. It ought to pay it when you win," Ripka said.

Resorts World spokesman Dan Bank said, "Upon being notified of the situation, casino personnel were able to determine that the figure displayed on the penny slot was the result of an obvious malfunction — a fact later confirmed by the New York State Gaming Commission.

"After explaining the circumstances to Ms. Bookman, we offered to pay her the correct amount that was shown on the printed ticket. Machine malfunctions are rare, and we would like to extend our apologies to Ms. Bookman for any inconvenience this may have caused."

The casino couldn't send a portion of its revenue to a New York state education fund, as mandated by law, if had to pay out massive jackpots like the one displayed on Bookman's machine, Bank said. In five years, the casino has generated more than $1.6 billion for the fund, he said.

But Bookman remains frustrated.

"I should win the max. And I feel like I should treat him (the casino employee) to a steak dinner," she said.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Thanks to LottoAce for the tip.

CNN, ABC, Lottery Post Staff


Raven62's avatarRaven62


Strange How Machine Malfunctions Only Occur on Big Payouts!

Fibonacci's avatarFibonacci

And I had the foolish thought every time I saw the signs posted on the machines that it doesn't mean what it says---they would never do that to a victim of their greed.

What an idiot I have been! Shame on these casino <snip>s and the politicians who make them screw the poor after they're screwed by the politicians.

This post has been automatically changed by the Lottery Post computer system to remove inappropriate content and/or spam.

kandi49's avatarkandi49

ms bookman keep the faith i could only wonder how you felt god will give you a chance again and this time it will be for real. start playing your kids birthday and age.  lottery mega million and power ball casino s r rip off  i think they should put on machines for fun only Big Grin Angel

mypiemaster's avatarmypiemaster

 "Malfunctions void all pays and plays." THERE OUGHTA BE A LAW. This is total bullcrap. If you lose it's ok but if you win it's a malfunction. SERIOUSLY?


OK everyone:

1)  What was the jackpot stated on the machine?  I seriously doubt it was even close to $10K.

2)  WHY did she come back THE NEXT DAY to see what her jackpot was?  When I've won jackpots on slot machines, I'm paid right then and there.

She hired an Attorney?  Good luck with that, paying $300/hour for an unwinnable case, she needs her head examined.  Am I supposed to feel pity because she's a single mother of several children?  No, I don't.

Sorry to sound harsh, but this is clearly a no-brainer.  She better be careful drawing all this attention to herself over this foolishness or she'll be a defendant from the casino's side of the law.


If my memory serves me correctly: There was a previous incident similar to this one where a person "won millions" playing the penny slots- it was ruled null & void as well. Something like " You can't win millions of dollars playing pennies. Go figure. 

Groppo's avatarGroppo

Quote: Originally posted by Raven62 on Nov 3, 2016


Strange How Machine Malfunctions Only Occur on Big Payouts!


Exactamundo!, Mr./Ms. Raven62,

That's exactly how I feel about this whole doggone mess.
To hell with slot machines and casinos altogether!
(except my poker, please don't take poker away. You can empty the casino, just keep a place for others and myself to play hold 'em. And maybe that video craps game.).

Imagine them pulling a stunt like this.  If I were a nearby employee, and witnessed this injustice,
I'd walk off the job.

Who wouldn't?

At least with Cash, Mega and PB, if the state tried something like this, you'd have the whole country's/whole world's attention. What do you have after you pull some old slot handle?

(shoo', afta I pull the slot handle, I be lucky if I gots a bus ride back home.)


Groppo's avatarGroppo


Casinos are always getting richer; No thanks to casino goers' illusions.
(But with lotto, I expect to lose anyway, every week. Still, I can dream though.)


Quote: Originally posted by Groppo on Nov 3, 2016


Casinos are always getting richer; No thanks to casino goers' illusions.
(But with lotto, I expect to lose anyway, every week. Still, I can dream though.)

Lol why do u play if u expect to lose, u can dream for free, I'm jus saying..

Funtimz's avatarFuntimz

That's why the house always wins...

music*'s avatarmusic*

 I will never set foot inside a casino. Even for the shows. Bunch of crooks.Confused

Grovel's avatarGrovel

So, the maxium payout of the machine was 6500, which she did not even win. So why is this unfair?

Groppo's avatarGroppo

Quote: Originally posted by EZMONEE on Nov 3, 2016

Lol why do u play if u expect to lose, u can dream for free, I'm jus saying..



Simply because of all the success stories we've read on here.
This or that guy or gal, in Georgia or North Carolina won so many doggone millions.

This or that person in Californy or Ohio won another set of millions, or at least the second prize. 
Yet, another in New York, wins enough to liberate them from that hell hole.

How many success stories (I mean with what frequency), are published on some guy's successful weekend trip to the casino?

I don't spend as much doing my lotto thing.
I still do wish some lotto winner would come my way, and offer me a bunch of their extra loot.

I'm several thousand in debt with credit cards.
So, that's not a real problem. I just want the extra money, with the least possible BS. Who doesn't?

Mr. Groppo

(good question, though)

Dd2160's avatarDd2160

They are soo full of do do.

they remove the machine and fix it alright didnt even give her cab fare...smfh thieving as$!!

$6k at least should been her pay out!!

yes girl sue for a couple more steak dinners! 


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