Casino winners camera shy - Thursday 12th of May 2005

They might have won over half a million dollars, but the four locals that won the Caribbean Stud Jackpot early Saturday morning at Kings Casino, have suddenly become very shy. As a matter a fact, the four winners don"t want anyone to know their names, nor do they want their faces posted in the paper - any paper for that matter.

The SUN was called on Monday to go down to Kings Casino for a short presentation where the men, who will continue to remain nameless, were to be given their cheques. However, while interviewing General Manager of Kings Casino Emilio Fagalde in his office, all four winners walked in and asked the GM not to disclose their names to the newspaper again, claiming that they were being harassed. The names were released in another newspaper the day before. "This thing has blown up like a volcano. People are calling us and harassing our families," one man said to Fagalde.

The Kings Casino GM agreed to their request, but sought to explain to the winners that in previous instances of significant payouts where the term "locals' was used in the media, many people called the casino accusing them of "bluffing." "We want people to be sure that you have the money," he explained.After they left Fagalde said he was going to post a sign in the casino's main area instructing all would-be jackpot winners that, should they win significant amounts, their pictures will be taken for the media.The quartet won $510,000 at 12:17 a.m. Saturday at the Caribbean Stud table. According to the GM, there were six players, but the nameless four "bet in the dealer's hand and that hand came in as the winning hand."The jackpot will be divided equally among the winners.

"The jackpot has been building for five to six months and it is the highest jackpot that we have ever paid for the Caribbean Stud game. It is actually the biggest jackpot ever paid out by any casino in Antigua," Fagalde told the SUN.After the four won, Fagalde said news spread quickly and within minutes there was "pandemonium" as many people entered the casino trying to get a glimpse of the winners. "One good thing about this jackpot is that it will stay in Antigua. All the winners are locals and we are extremely happy that the money will be pumped into the local economy," he said.

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