A New Jersey man hit a progressive slots jackpot on his very first spin at one of New Jersey’s regulated online gambling sites.
Anibal Lopes, 33, of Woodbridge, New Jersey, collected the $193,737 (£137,779.94) life-changing jackpot on Monday, March 26. Shorty after registering to play on the site, Lopes opted to try Divine Fortune, one of the NetEnt-supplied progressive slots offerings. Within moments, the online pull had brought Lopes nearly a fifth of a million dollars.
“I thought, ‘This is not happening,’ ” he told the New York Times. “I couldn’t believe I won that much money. I told my wife: ‘I don’t feel well. My legs are shaking.’ She said, ‘We need to get you to the emergency room.’ I told her, ‘No, I’m not sick; I just won close to $194,000!'”
Lopes’s monster payday also represents the largest-ever slots jackpot hit at Sugarhouse. The progressive jackpot was hit twice last September, first for $91,680 (£65,279.83) and $46,096 (£32,822.2). Sugarhouse Online Casino is owned by the parent company of Philadelphia’s Sugarhouse Casino, Rush Street Gaming, via its new Rush Street Interactive division.
The Sugarhouse site operates within New Jersey for that state’s residents under the interactive license of Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget casino. The online site, approved just last year, is one of New Jersey’s newest state-regulated offerings.
Massive win, modest plans
Lopes admitted to the Times that he already had some plans for the win, including paying off bills, repairing his house, and setting up a savings account for his six-year-old son.
Whether he’ll spend more time dabbling on Sugarhouse remains unclear. Lopes admitted that he’d only been dabbling on New Jersey’s regulated online gambling sites since they started accepting real-money play in 2013. He’s also an occasional visitor to Atlantic City’s land-based casinos.
Lopes confessed on the Sugarhouse blog that he prefers the convenience of playing online to the effort it takes to go and play in Atlantic City. “You can play anytime. You’re always just a smartphone away from having a fun time”.
Lopes’s Woodbridge Township home in New Jersey is actually much closer to New York City than Atlantic City (a two-hour drive away). The Gateway Region of New Jersey adjacent to NYC that includes Lopes’s Woodbridge Township home is, according to a Rutgers University study, that part of New Jersey most likely to play on the state’s regulated online sites.