A Winning Argument

Hit the jackpot

In February, the jackpot of a lifetime landed in the lap of New Jersey native, Rony Beal.  A routine visitor of Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino, Beal played hundreds of dollars on a particular Wheel of Fortune machine, which granted a lifechanging payout of $2,555,910.  Now, months later, the winner has hired a lawyer, has contacted a news media outlet, and plans to take legal action against Bally’s and IGT, the company that manufactures and manages the machines played by Bally’s casino patrons.  The monetary damages have not yet been specified.

The prize money derived from an initial $1,277,955 hit, which doubled when Beal landed on a multiplier, making the entire jackpot worth about $2.5 million.  Directly following the jackpot win, fellow casino-goers crowded around Beal, expressing excitement for her payout.  It was not until security staff rushed to the machine that the surrounding enthusiasm stifled.  The staff asked her to re-spin, during which time, they looked at the back of the machine, where a “reel tilt” message was displayed.  It was determined by staff that Beal did not actually hit the jackpot, but rather, the machine malfunctioned.  Therefore, Bally’s was not responsible for paying the entire $2.5 million payout. 

Although this incident happened in February, Beal did not plan to file a lawsuit until June.  She had only reached this decision to pursue further action months later, following a failed attempt to resolve the issue on her own, during which Bally’s management offered her $350 in compensation and told her to leave.  While Bally’s is refusing to assume liability, IGT maintains that it is cooperating with the investigation.  Beal and her lawyer claim that while the staff was examining the machine, they allegedly tampered with the evidence that would corroborate her win.  Time will tell whether Beal’s legal odds will play in her favor.