Wheel of Fortune And Michael Jackson Most Played Slot Machines

I look at a lot of gaming statistics but I don’t remember seeing information for slot machines that provided specific information to what games were played the most. That changed last night when I learned that Wheel of Fortune was the most played slot machine last year. Megabucks and Michael Jackson were tied for second most played slot machines last year.

IGT, which makes Wheel of Fortune and Megabucks, led the fourth quarter in sales with survey participants purchasing 34 percent of their games from the Reno-based company. Bally, a Las Vegas manufacturer that makes the Michael Jackson game, was second with 16 percent of sales. WMS accounted for 9 percent in sales but was the leading company in leased games.

This makes perfect sense. Wheel of Fortune is the favorite slot machine of many people in the casino that have white or blue hair. I love Wheel of Fortune too…it’s one of the survivors of the reel slot machine era. I just want to SPIN!

The Michael Jackson slot machine really isn’t anything special but it’s new and has his popular music and it seems to hit a sweet spot with people in casinos. It’s a flashback for the person in their mid 30’s-40’s and retro for younger people. I played this game once…once.

Megabucks also comes as no surprise as one of the most played slot machines since it’s essentially Nevada’s lottery. Most people just want to win jackpots. Much like the Michael Jackson slot machines I’ve only played Megabucks once. These games are boring and have bad returns. That’s a combo I don’t like.

I’m expecting similar results in 2013. There’s a new Michael Jackson Cirque Du Soliel show coming soon and promotion for the show can only help the slot machine. Older people in the casino will likely hang on to their old favorite Wheel of Fortune reel slot machine while people will always be lured into Megabucks because they’re all living the dream.

Playing for the Biggest Lotto Jackpot Ever

The Mega Millions lottery jackpot (at the time of writing this) is $500 million, already up from the originally announced $473 million. That’s an all-time world record for a lottery. I typically don’t play lotteries because the odds of winning are so immensely terrible. But since this is a record drawing and you can’t win if you don’t play, I’m going to go buy some tickets.

While researching lottery taxes I found something interesting. In an odd quirk, Nevada doesn’t have any state lotteries. I read that for the last drawing people were flocking to Primm on the California Nevada state line to buy tickets. The article said that they are one of the top grossing cities for the lottery in California. Which begs an interesting question, why would Nevada give up lottery revenue to other states?

The best answer I can think up is that since gambling is everywhere in Nevada, they don’t think there would be much to gain by offering a lottery. The amount people are willing to wager is a firm amount and offering a lottery wouldn’t change that. Since casinos offer better odds, I doubt anyone would really even play lottery games in Nevada except when jackpots get as big as Friday’s drawing.

I would not be surprised at all to see that jackpot grow over the week. Large jackpots draw more players, and more players mean even bigger jackpots. Either way, it’s pretty exciting that the Mega Millions lottery has grown to such a large jackpot. I’ll be very curious to see who wins. Can you imagine if the lottery doesn’t hit on Friday? We could very easily see a lottery jackpot that breaks $1 billion. Now wouldn’t that be a story.

ED: The closest this Nevada has to a lottery is the Megabucks slot machine. Megabucks has the poorest payouts of any slot machine in Vegas (Check NGC), but people play hoping for the big million dollar payouts – kinda like the lottery.