Man Wins $2.3 Million at Niagara Fallsview Casino - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

A St. Catharines contractor is $2.3 million richer after hitting a Megabucks slot machine jackpot at Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort early this morning.

Jean Pierre Paroyan, 63, was playing one of Fallsview's Megabucks progressive slot machines around 12:45am when the three Megabucks logos lined up on his machine, earning him the main jackpot of $2,300,471.71 as well as a secondary jackpot of $5,063.22.

"This will make my life a little bit easier now," said Paroyan with a grin.

A native of southern France who will celebrate his 50th year in Canada next month, Paroyan says he has worked very hard all his life and is looking forward to a rest, even though he does not plan to retire from his custom home-building business right away.

"We couldn't be happier for Mr. Paroyan," said Larry L. Lewin, President, Niagara Casinos. "What a great surprise for someone contemplating retirement after a lifetime of hard work."

Megabucks is a progressive slot machine system created by International Gaming Technology. The machines were introduced in Las Vegas casinos in 1986. Since then, they have become famous for their large jackpots.

Megabucks machines were first installed at Casino Niagara, Casino Windsor and Casino Rama in June, 2001. In 2003, Megabucks machines were introduced at five charity casinos throughout Ontario - Casino Sault Ste. Marie, Brantford Charity Casino, Point Edward Charity Casino, Thunder Bay Charity Casino and Thousand Islands Charity Casino. Fallsview became Ontario's ninth Megabucks property.

The Megabucks machines at all nine properties are linked to a single progressive jackpot that begins at $1 million and climbs until a customer at any one of the participating properties hits the winning payline. The counters are immediately reset to $1 million at all the properties whenever the top prize is awarded. A secondary progressive jackpot beginning at $5,000 can also be won.

Paroyan is the second person to win a Megabucks jackpot at Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. On October 30, 2004, Toronto tax accountant Nick Hulst was playing at Fallsview when he won a $5.7 million Megabucks jackpot to set the new Canadian jackpot record. Hulst's win came just moments before Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin arrived at Fallsview to address members of the Ontario Caucus of the federal Liberal party during their annual general meeting.

Four people have won Megabucks jackpots at Fallsview's sister property, Casino Niagara:

- "Rita-Anna", 57, of Stoney Creek, Ontario, won $2.86 million on August 2, 2002

- Doris Wendt, 68, of North Tonawanda, NY, won $5.6 million on February 14, 2002

- Maryam Talini of Mississauga, Ontario, won $1.3 million on July 21,2001

- Pam Fowler of Stoney Creek, Ontario, won $1.3 million on July 7, 2001

There have also been six Megabucks wins at other Ontario casinos:

- On December 3, 2004, Winne McKinley of Prince Edward Island won more than $1.4 million at Great Blue Heron Charity Casino

- On February 28, 2004, a Windsor, Ontario, man won more than $4.5 million at Casino Windsor

- On August 7, 2003, a man from Essex County, Ontario, won more than $2.6 million at Casino Windsor

- On April 18, 2003, a man from LaSalle, Ontario, won almost $2 million at Casino Windsor

- On October 20, 2002, a woman from Parry Sound, Ontario, won more than $2.3 million at Casino Rama

- On April 8, 2002, a Michigan man won just over $1.8 million at Casino Windsor

To date, Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara alone have given away over $19 million in top-prize Megabucks jackpots.

Speaking about Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort and its staff, Paroyan said, "Niagara needed something like this and the staff I've been dealing with have been just wonderful."

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