Late in the evening on October 6, 2015, 26-year-old British soldier Jon Heywood, from Crewe, Cheshire, opened an online casino account, deposited £30 and started playing the Mega Moolah online slot game at £0.25 a spin. It is one of those online slots (with high winning percentage) that are popular among British gamblers. Shortly afterwards, Heywood became a multi-millionaire, winning the largest progressive ‘Mega Jackpot’ prize, which, at the time, was worth an eye-watering £13,209,300, or €17,879,645 at the prevailing exchange rate. Indeed, in so doing, Heywood broke the world record for the ‘largest jackpot payout in an online slot machine game’ and was subsequently presented with an official certificate to that effect by a Guinness World Records adjudicator.
Until the official prize presentation, Heywood could only share the news of his windfall with his nearest and dearest, so went to work as usual the following day. He said, ‘No one thought it was real. They might do once they see my picture in the paper!’ On a more serious note, he said that the first thing he would spend the money on was the best possible medical treatment for his father, who is awaiting a heart and lung transplant. Heywood did, however, confess that trading in his Fiat Punto for a yellow Bentley Continental GT was close to the top of his wish-list. He said, ‘I never even dreamed of driving a Bentley, let alone owning one.’
Alan Alger, Head of Corporate Communications and PR for the casino site, said, ‘We couldn’t be happier for Jon. He’s an incredibly nice guy and his family will benefit immensely from his huge win. He added, ‘It just shows that the biggest prizes can be won from the smallest stakes. Mega Moolah has really lived up to its name.’