Casino Doubles 106-year-old Woman’s Winnings After She Hit $1k Jackpot

By Khadija Pervez in Feel Good Published On 1st September 2023

A 106-year-old lady who made an annual visit to a Milwaukee casino to celebrate her birthday received an unexpected surprise - she hit a double jackpot.

Sarah Peterson, a familiar face at the Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, looked forward to her birthday celebrations there every year. Remarkably, at the impressive age of 106, she has enjoyed this tradition countless times.


On Wednesday, August 23rd, it was her birthday and she won $1,000 at the casino. But a few days later, the casino's CEO decided to double her prize.

According to WBAL, the 106-year-old said she was 'happy' with her double jackpot and while she didn't know what she was going to do with the cash, she thought she was 'going to make a good choice'.

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Peterson also shared the secret behind her long life. She said she lived a 'good life' and 'took good care of myself'. She told them: "I didn't drink, I didn't smoke, I didn't go to the tavern."

Dominic Ortiz, the owner of the casino, mentioned that the 106-year-old lady was a frequent visitor, and they had regularly greeted her to celebrate her birthday.


He said: "We've welcomed Sarah every year for her birthday and are grateful that she and her family celebrate with us."

"We were all elated when we heard about her big win and wanted to make her 106th birthday even more special."

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Getting her jackpot doubled on her birthday was definitely a better outcome than another person who had luck at a casino but received a much smaller reward.

Another woman who hit an astonishing $43 million jackpot initially believed her life was taking a turn, but her excitement was short-lived. She later learned that her slot machine had malfunctioned, and her actual winnings amounted to only $2.25.

As a gesture of compensation, the casino offered her a steak dinner, which is a kind gesture. However, unless that steak is exceptionally delicious, it's nowhere near the equivalent of $43 million.

A spokesperson for Resorts World, Dan Bank, told CNN: “Upon being notified of the situation, casino personnel was able to determine that the figure displayed on the penny slot was the result of an obvious malfunction a fact later confirmed by the New York State Gaming Commission.”


“After explaining the circumstances to Ms. Bookman, we offered to pay her the correct amount that was shown on the printed ticket. Machine malfunctions are rare, and we would like to extend our apologies to Ms. Bookman for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

The year after Bookman had believed she had won, her lawyer filed a lawsuit and called the casino's claims "ridiculous."

"You can't claim a machine is broken because you want it to be broken. Does that mean it wasn't inspected? Does it mean it wasn't maintained?" Ripka told CNN at the time.

"And if so, does that mean that people that played there before [Bookman] had zero chance of winning?"


In the end, a settlement was reached outside of court.

Bookman, a single mother of four who was raised in foster care as a youngster, remarked after realizing she would only be leaving with a few dollars: "All I could think about was my family."

There are individuals who have experienced even more luck, such as a gambler who turned a mere $40 into a whopping $10 million while playing slot machines.

While casinos appreciate customers who return and win jackpots occasionally, the truth is that they remain in business by not losing money. 


The gambling industry thrives on people losing money, and they aim to avoid being almost bankrupted by significant wins.

The temptation to try for one more round or spin is always present. Although a few fortunate cases result in big wins, for the most part, it often translates to more money going down the drain.