Lion's Share - The Las Vegas Slot that hasn't paid it's jackpot in 20 years
One of Las Vegas' oldest slot machines is still on the floor of the MGM Grand Casino due to the fact that it hasn't ever paid out its jackpot in 20 years! The last remaining three reel Lion's Share slot was originally installed as part of row of identical slots of the same name in the mid 90's, which to put it in historical perspective for you, was when Bill Clinton still held office as president, apartheid was abolished in South Africa, and Kurt Cobain committed suicide! While it has paid some pretty sweet amounts to lucky players over time, it has never paid out a single jackpot in the 20 years that it has occupied the floor!
Even though this machine has paid out over 90% of the money players have put into it over the years, with the jackpot contribution equating to around 3% per game. Given that this slot has a payout rate of 94% over the longer terms and the jackpot is yet to be paid, its current payout rate is around 91% and will hit the published 94% once the jackpot is hit. Nevertheless, according to Nevada Gaming Law, all jackpot slot machines are required to payout their Jackpot before they can be removed from the casino because ultimately these funds "belong" to the players and not the casino in question.
There have been a few "close calls" when it comes to hitting the Lion's Share jackpot over the years with no less than three players lucky enough to line up the three lions for $50,000 – unfortunately for these individuals, they neglected to play the maximum bets but played 2 coins instead, forfeiting the whopping progressive jackpot for considerably lesser amounts.
Thus the Lion's Share slot remains the lone survivor of the multitudes of $1 progressive jackpot slot machines from the 90's.
This fact has drawn multitudes to the casino who believe that the machine is bound to pay out a million dollars at any time now, making it the slot machine with the highest occupancy rate and daily time played of all the 1900 MGM casino slots. According to MGM executive director, Justin Andrews, the games gets played five times more often than the average game on the casino's floor and staff are continually asked about its whereabouts by new curious visitors to the casino.
Interestingly, due to its age, the Lion's Share is not a ticket machine but it also can no longer pay out old, invalid coins so it keep the casino's cashiers very busy walking up and down to pay players out by hand when they press the "Cashout button" to summon the cashier on duty. One may think that this would be very annoying for casino staff but the opposite is true, many of the cashiers get very good tips working this machine and one even believes that it has saved her job.
The slot machine has developed somewhat of a cult following over the years as one of the top slot machines of all time in Las Vegas and even has dedicated Facebook and Twitter pages title "Tracking the MGM Lion's Share ‐ the progressive slot that still hasn't hit!"
The Lion's Share Jackpot currently stands at over $2.3 million after being fed by an entire generation of players and attracting a whole new one along the way. Of course it also has its regular players who try their luck as often as possible believing that they will be the lucky winner and hoping against all odds that someone else will not hit "their" jackpot while they are away from it.
In fact, the anticipation amongst the Lion's Share followers is tangible and there is a constant buzz around the machine when you visit it ‐ with many people eagerly awaiting their turn in the hope of winning big. To add to the excitement, in addition to the jackpot, MGM management will also give the lucky winner the entire machine as memorabilia of their win!
Of course there are also the naysayers and critics who believe that the MGM staff have "rigged" the machine to ensure that it never pays out, after all, they argue, it is one of the casino's most lucrative attractions and the perfect vehicle for leveraging invaluable PR and marketing.