Elmer Sherwin Biography
According to the Megabuck's website, the probability of winning their jackpot is less than one in ten million. Elmer Sherwin could easily be considered the luckiest man around then, as he managed to win their jackpot not once, but twice.
Sherwin was the only person in the history of Megabucks to accomplish that feat. His two jackpot wins were nearly sixteen years apart, in which that time he won a combined total of over $25 million dollars.
The Win of a Lifetime
Sherwin had always enjoyed gambling and loved the rush he received from playing at the casinos. He started gambling as soon as he was old enough to set foot in a casino, but he never won a substantial amount of money until he was nearly seventy-six years old.
Sherwin and his wife were traveling around the country in their mobile home when they decided to make a stop in Las Vegas to visit family. During their time there, Sherwin would take one-hundred dollars a week to try his luck out at the local casinos. Sherwin and his wife made a point to attend the grand opening of the Mirage Hotel and Casino, where his one-hundred dollar budget quickly disappeared to nothing. Determined to win, he asked his wife to give him twenty more dollars so he could try the Megabucks machine just one more time.
The Megabucks machine, made by International Game Technology, is a dollar slot machine with an accumulating jackpot that requires a $3 bet to hit the top prize. The jackpot resets at $7 million after a jackpot is won and begins to build again until someone lines up the Megabucks symbols on the machine again.
His chances of winning were slim, but Sherwin managed to beat the odds by winning the $4.6 million dollar jackpot. Sherwin always had a passion for traveling and after he won, he used his winnings to travel to the world to visit all the places he always wanted to visit, but could never afford to. Sherwin carried a picture of his first win in his pocket so that he could tell his story to everyone he came in with.
Ever since he won, Sherwin had a desire to win again, but not for the reasons one may expect. "I wasn't after the money. I was after the prestige of hitting it twice. Cause I knew no one has done it. Lotteries and things, yeah...but not the megabucks," said Sherwin.
The Win of a Lifetime 2.0
On September 16th, 2005 Sherwin decided to try his luck at the Megabucks slot machine at the Cannery Casino & Hotel of Las Vegas for what seems like the millionth time. Over the years, Sherwin has always enjoyed playing the Megabucks slots because he usually won at least some of the smaller prize amounts. This day was different though, this day he would walk away winning the jackpot and over twenty-one million dollars in prize money.
Immediately following his second Megabucks grand prize, Sherwin sat there modestly behind the machine with only a small smile on his face. Crowds surrounded him, causing him to flee to a nearby restaurant until his jackpot win could be confirmed a brief five hours after.
Sherwin donated a good portion of his winnings to the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and continue to share with his family, including his son and daughter-in-law in Las Vegas. The lucky winner just could not resist surprising his family with the win. He planned to let them hear of his jackpot on the news because he longed to see the surprise on their faces.
In an interview after his second victory, Sherwin exclaimed, "I'm gonna try for a third win on Megabucks, but I may try the Wheel of Fortune slot too." Sherwin's dream was unable to come to fruition before he passed away on March 23rd, 2007 at age 93.
Author: Nicole Miller
Updated: Novemeber 2016