In that case, the lucky winner hit it big on the Megabucks machine, the original wide area progressive slot introduced by International Game Technology (IGT) back in 1986.
Since its release, Megabucks has paid out dozens of eight-figure jackpots – including a $39.7 prize in 2003 that still ranks as the largest of all-time – to players fortunate enough to beat the astronomical odds against them.
Progressive slot games like Megabucks and its progeny work like this. Instead of taking every penny players put in and using those funds to payback winners on a single machine, the games are linked across what’s called a “wide area network.”
Over time, as thousands of players put in millions of spins, the jackpot amount – which Megabucks seeds at a whopping $10 million to start off – swells to greater and greater amounts.
Finally, when one lucky player somewhere spinning a machine on the network triggers the topline jackpot, they take home the top prize and the process begins anew.
For decades, the only way to enjoy the thrill of progressive slot machine gaming was to visit Las Vegas or Atlantic City, or perhaps a local tribal casino somewhere out in the sticks.
But my how things have changed over the last few years…
Today, the advent of online gambling has given rise to a new generation of progressive slot games. So long as you have an internet connection and a smartphone or computer, you can spin to win massive amounts of money from the comfort of your couch.
This game-changing advance has leveled the proverbial playing field, giving gamblers everywhere – even those who can’t swing a trip to Sin City.
A simple internet search will bring back countless stories of online gambling enthusiasts parlaying their passion for progressive slots into major dough.
To help you get acquainted with the wild world of online progressive slots, check out the list below to learn more about 9 of the best games and jackpots online gamblers love the most:
1 – Mega Moolah Mega – Microgaming
In October of 2015, a British soldier by the name of Jon Heywood decided to have a little R & R playing online slots.
He dialed up a colorful game called Mega Moolah featuring an African safari theme and wagered £0.25 per spin, and before you know it, he triggered the game’s bonus wheel round.
“Next thing I know, there’s a big wheel spinning. I thought: ‘Brilliant, I’ve won 10 grand here.’ But no. Oh, good God, no.”
When the Mega Moolah bonus wheel finally came to a rest, Heywood’s screen lit up to announce the elusive Mega progressive jackpot had been won.
All in all, Heywood’s £0.25 spin brought back an unbelievable £13,213,838.68 in winnings, setting a Guinness Book of World Records mark for the largest online jackpot ever paid.
At first glance, Megabucks doesn’t look like anything special, just a basic five-reel slot game with 25 paylines and a generic safari animal theme.
Coin denominations range from $0.01 through $0.05 (available in several local currencies), and players must put up one coin for each payline activated.
At random intervals, Mega Moolah players will see the same wheel Heywood was greeted with gracing their screen.
From there, the wheel will spin and land on one of four progressive jackpot types – Mini (seeded at 10 coins), Minor (100 coins), Major (10,000 coins), or Mega (1 million coins).
Both the wheel’s appearance and its final resting place are completely random, lending Mega Moolah an undeniable air of unpredictability.
You can’t control when the prize wheel comes up, but when it does, you’ll have the same shot Heywood had to collect truly astounding sums.
Take a look below to see how the 10 most recent Mega Moolah jackpot winner’s fared over the last two years:
|Jackpot Amount||Currency||Date/Time||Game Type|
|£1,448,116.31||GBP||01/10/2017, 2:13||Mega Moolah Mobile|
|$1,413,537.73||CAD||15/11/2017, 5:05||Mega Moolah Mobile|
|€4,278,677.94||EUR||18/12/2017, 8:56||Mega Moolah Mobile|
|$3,688,145.24||CAD||14/01/2018, 04:00||Mega Moolah Mobile|
|$7,453,168.03||CAD||27/02/2018, 20:00||Mega Moolah Mobile|
|€4,365,843.63||EUR||08/03/2018, 0:30||Mega Moolah Mobile|
|$5,691,921.42||USD||19/04/2018, 20:43||Mega Moolah Mobile|
|£1,778,226.80||GBP||20/04/2018, 21:30||Mega Moolah Mobile|
|$8,332,554.01||NZD||24/06/2018, 18:10||Mega Moolah Mobile|
|€18,910,668.01*||EUR||28/09/2018, 17:00||Mega Moolah Mobile|
As you can see, Heywood’s world record win has since been broken, courtesy of a ridiculous €18.9 million score paid out in Europe last September.
David Reynolds – who serves as head games publisher for Microgaming – issued a press release to celebrate last year’s historic payouts:
Mega Moolah certainly sets the standard for online progressive slot games, but you’ll find plenty of variety out there among the rest of this list.
2 – Funky Fruits – Playtech
Fruit symbols have adorned slot machine reels since the very first machine was invented by Charles Fey back in the 1890s.
Fast forward to 2019 and Playtech has provided a fresh take on the theme with its Funky Fruits progressive slot.
This five-reel, 20-payline game is based around a colorful collection of fruit characters, each of which sports a face bearing expressions ranging from glee to anger.
The fruits in question include cherries, lemons, oranges, pineapples, plums, and watermelons, and players are hoping to line five or more of the same symbol up along the 5×5 reel alignment.
The main prize players are shooting for on Funky Fruits is the progressive jackpot which begins at a cool $1 million. In order to trigger this seven-figure score, players must land at least eight of the cherry symbols within the 5×5 grid.
Snag eight or more of these coveted cherries on $1 bet and you’ll snag 10 percent of the progressive kitty. Make it a $2 spin and the ante gets upped to 20 percent; $5 brings back 50 percent, and $10 send the entire jackpot amount your way.
Funky Fruits offers a fun-filled gameplay experience with plenty of sound effects and animations to keep you entertained. And when cherries start sprouting onscreen, you’re in for the ride of a lifetime.
3 – Shopping Spree – Bovada
A relatively new entrant to the online progressive slot arena, Shopping Spree is a sparsely designed game themed around a trip to the mall.
Reel symbols include handbags, lipstick, jewelry, and dollar signs – everything a lucky winner of the fairer sex might imagine themselves buying if a big winner finally comes in.
Shopping spree offers 9 paylines and a 3×5 reel alignment, and players are chasing a variety of payouts based on lining up three or more of the same symbol.
Snag three or more of the dollar signs and you’ll collect up to 350 credits back. Three or more shopping bag symbols are good for Grab Bag Bonus round based on selecting several payouts from 16 random prize amounts.
But the real treat progressive players are chasing on Shopping Spree is a jackpot seeded at $100,000 which regularly climbs above the $1 million mark. This jackpot is triggered by landing five of the diamond ring symbols on any single payline.
You’ll need to bet the maximum of $1.25 per payline (totaling $11.25 per spin on 9 paylines) to be eligible for the jackpot, which leans towards the pricier end of the spectrum. But that’s only fitting for a game called Shopping Spree…
4 – Mega Fortune Dreams – Net Ent
Another game themed around the life of luxury, Mega Fortune Dreams is a standard five-reel, 20-payline game played on a 3×5 reel grid.
The symbols are designed to emulate a fancy yacht party floating somewhere on pristine blue seas, so you’ll see champagne, Martinis, jewel encrusted handbags, high-end watches, and a diamond ring.
Designed by Net Entertainment (NetEnt), the Mega Fortune Dreams base game features the company’s usual array of wild and scatter symbols, along with free spin awards and bonus rounds.
These features help to spice up your regular gameplay experience, as does the generous pay table described below:
|Symbol||Three on a Payline||Four on a Payline||Five on a Payline|
Base game payouts – awarded on bets ranging from $0.01 to $4.00 – are fun and all, but progressive slot specialists are always hunting for the big bucks.
To trigger the Mega Fortune Dreams jackpot, players are looking for a special symbol depicting a spinning prize wheel.
You’ll only see it on reels 3, 4, and 5, but if you can land three of them at once, you’ll get to spin a prize wheel similar to that found in Mega Moolah.
Make it to the fourth tier and you’ll take home the Mega Jackpot, which historically averages about $3.75 million over several years’ worth of recorded payouts.
5 – Aztec’s Millions – RTG
One of the true classics of the genre, Aztec’s Millions by Real Time Gaming (RTG) is a staple within the world of online progressive slots.
This one is another typical 3×5 reel game bearing 25 paylines, and coin denominations are fixed at $0.20 per line. This means players must put up $5 per spin, a hefty fee no doubt, but one made totally worth it thanks to a massive $1 million jackpot seed.
The theme of Aztec’s Millions is centered around the warrior king Montezuma and his treasure, so you’ll be spinning symbols like golden trinkets, mysterious idols, and jungle jaguars.
The Aztec King symbol acts as a wild card, linking up with any other symbol to form winning combos.
You can also win big with five of the Aztec Queen symbols, which bring back a sweet 5,000-credit return.
And don’t forget about the free spins (5-25) awarded when you land three or more of the golden idol symbols, as these allow you to extend your gameplay experience on the house.
6 – The Big One Colossal Cash – Party Gaming
Party Gaming is best known for its signature PartyPoker online poker room, but the iGaming giant is also making waves with its The Big One Colossal Cash progressive slot jackpot.
This jackpot is linked to two of Party Gaming’s most popular online slot titles – Snow Business or Melon Madness.
Both games are standard five-reel, 30-payline slots, with Snow Business using a wintry wonderland theme, and Melon Madness opting for tropical fruits.
Players must bet At last $1.35 per spin to be eligible for The Big One Colossal Cash, a progressive jackpot which has become the Moby Dick of the gaming industry.
Just like Captain Ahab chased his white whale across the high seas, but never quite caught up with his prey, online slot players on the Party Gaming network haven’t been able to hit the big one just yet.
Here’s how the Borgata casino in Atlantic City, the centerpiece of Party Gaming’s online slot network in New Jersey, described the situation in a 2017 blog post:
Following the lead of Mega Moolah, both Snow Business and Melon Madness use a randomly triggered prize wheel to decide your jackpot fate.
This wheel features five tiers of prizes using a color coded system, and if you get lucky enough, you could be the first to haul in this whopper of a prize that has since pushed past the $2 million plateau.
7 – Monster Millions – NuWorks
The game designers at NuWorks got creative with Monster Millions. Even so, many online slot veterans may not like what they find here.
This five-reel, 25-payline game is themed around a fairy tale world of monsters, gremlins, and ogres – but the scariest thing about Monster Millions is its convoluted jackpot triggering system.
This is accomplished by landing a Moon scatter symbol on reels 1 and 5 exactly. From there, you’ll get to use the touchscreen to uncover monsters concealed behind an unlucky child’s furniture. Grab a monster symbol on your first three choices and you’ll earn 50 free spins.
Only on these 50 free spins will the progressive jackpot be activated. From there, look for five of the Moon scatter symbols anywhere onscreen to cash out the top prize.
8 – Mega Jackpots – IGT
One of the leading slot designers in the world, IGT links its famous Mega Jackpots product to several of its most popular titles.
Check out games like Cleopatra, Monopoly, and Cluedo to take your shot at a progressive kitty which averages $2 million across the various games.
Each title connected to the Mega Jackpots network features its own unique theme and gameplay, along with different ways to trigger the award.
9 – Pay Dirt – WGS Tech
PayDirt is yet another five-reel, 25 payline game themed around the old gold rush days in California.
Reel symbols include the gold miner, his trusty dog, a reliable donkey, the thieving bandit, explosive dynamite, a mining cart stuffed with gold nuggets, the mine shaft, and a pickaxe.
Along with wild symbols, scatters, free spins, and bonus rounds, the randomly triggered jackpot regularly swells into the seven-figures – offering players a modern day gold rush of their own to enjoy.
Standard online slots can be entertaining and enjoyable, but the progressive jackpots offered by the 10 titles above take the cake.
There’s nothing quite like the anticipation which comes when you see the first few of those precious symbols needed line up in a row. You might not beat the odds, but sweating the final outcome as the reels click into place is the thrill all slot aficionados crave.