Earlier this year, a malfunctioning slot machine at the Lakeside Resort’s Lake City Casino in Penticton, B.C., paid a woman 100 times the maximum winnings amount. The lucky roll tipped the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) off to a major flaw in its slot machines.
Malfunctioning Slot Machine
The woman in question was using one of the Dragon Fever slot machines, which has a maximum payout limit of $1,000. Yet after a roll, the slot machine displayed earnings of $99,999.97. “We did some initial troubleshooting of that defective machine and BCLC could not definitively determine the exact reason for the malfunction,” Laura Piva-Babcock, a BCLC spokesperson, told the Vancouver Sun. BCLC did determine that the woman in question, who remains unnamed, did not manipulate the slot machine in any way.
Troubleshooting of the slot machine determined only that the $99,999.97 amount was recorded on the payout screen. The actual intended payment amount could have been anything under $1,000. Since the amount of legitimate winnings was unable to be determined, BCLC “determined the appropriate course of action was to pay that erroneously displayed prize amount to the player,” Piva-Babcock stated.
After the Dragon Fever slot machine malfunctioned, BCLC quietly removed 189 slot machines from casinos around the province to prevent a similar incident from happening. Subsequent investigation determined that there was a glitch in the hardware that controlled the progressive jackpot system across a set of 6 individual slot machines. The progressive controller raised the jackpot each game until the player won; the crossed wires allowed the player in question to win more than she otherwise would have been able to. 152 of the 189 slot machines were affected, reports the Vancouver Sun.
This was one of five slot machine errors in 2013/2014; most were technical glitches. We’re reporting this now, as the story was kept quiet by BCLC until November, 2014, when the Sun received an anonymous tip about the incident.