How Rare is a Big Jackpot Win?

 How Rare is a Big Jackpot Win?

For most of us, hitting a really big jackpot is a rare event. You never know when — if ever — the next will come.

The event has seemed to be not so rare for one woman, according to a reader who wrote that his sister-in-law had two $20,000 jackpots in a month and a dozen or more of $10,000-plus in the last three or four years.

“I asked her how she does it, and she said she was just able to recognize the machines that were ready to pay off,” he wrote in an email. “There was nothing she could tell us to look for. She just KNEW.

“What do you think the story could be? Is there something to look for that would help you to know?”

My first thought when I hear of players hitting multiple big jackpots is that they’ve been playing A LOT, and maybe more than they’ve let on.

It’s possible for someone to get lucky, be in the right place at the right time and win a big jackpot or two or three that leaves them ahead of the game. Possible — but rare.

To have such large jackpots appear a dozen or more times over a few years suggests repeated play. Maybe she’s had jackpots a little more often than the odds of the games would usually yield, but even so, my best guess is that she’s invested a good deal of time and money.

Results are as random as humans can program a computer to be, and there is no method for recognizing a machine that’s about to pay off. Every play is a fresh trial. There is no way to know a jackpot is coming until the random number has been selected and the results are on the reels.

Should you ever have the good fortune to win such a large jackpot — let alone several — my best advice is to put a good chunk of it away. Continue to play at your normal level, and don’t raise your bets or frequency of play to chase further jackpots that might never come.

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