BILOXI -- It's true that jackpots can hit twice in the same city in one weekend after a Florida woman won a $1.5 million jackpot at IP Casino Resort Saturday, a day after Florida man won $500,000 at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino.
Evelyn H., whose last name wasn't given, was playing for about 30 minutes at the IP Casino. The Milton, Fla. resident hit a jackpot of $1.519,819.03 on a Wheel of Fortune Progressive slot machine.
This follows other big hits over the summer at IP Casino. In August, a Baton Rouge, La., woman won more than $270,000 in July a Niceville, Fla. woman won nearly $50,000.
"Our guests have been hitting it big on slot machines all summer long, and we're happy that Evelyn was able to start off the fall season on a high note as well," said Duncan McKenzie, general manager of IP Casino.
On Friday Matthew Manger of Sarasota, Fla., bet the maximum $1.50 on the Tarzan Aristocrat Wide Area Progressive penny slot machine at Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi and turned it into $501,243.64.
He stops every October at the Beau Rivage on his way to a trade show in Texas, and this year it really paid off.
Friday between 7:30 and 8 p.m., he He had been playing about 10 to 15 minutes. The machine didn't make a lot of noise, Manger said, but the coins on the machine went crazy.
"I knew I hit," he said. "I was in shock."
"I tried to call my family and nobody answered," he said. They didn't learn of his half-million-dollar jackpot until Saturday.
Manger works for his family business, Live Land Hermit Crabs and Painted Shells, which are sold at Sharkheads in Biloxi and other souvenir shops along the Gulf coast.
He said Monday he isn't sure how he'll spend his winnings. "I'd like to pay my house off," he said, and then said he might take a cruise.
He likes going into "the jungle" with Tarzan when he plays the slots. "I love playing that game. It's just fun to play," he said. "There's a lot of bonuses."
Others will take home painted shells Manger sells as a souvenir of their visit to South Mississippi. Once the accounting is complete, his souvenir will be direct deposited into his account.