$3 Casino Rama bet nets $8.9M jackpot - Tuesday 25th of March 2008

Steady play on a slot machine for under an hour won Anna Falco a record $9 million on the weekend.

The 53-year-old woman from Woodbridge was playing the Megabucks machine at Casino Rama on Saturday. Her husband Franco arrived to share in her triumph.

The machine takes a minimum $1 bet but she was wagering $3 a spin to qualify for the jackpot, which starts at $1 million and continues to mount until theres a winner.

Falco had spent around $200 when lights flashed and bells sounded.

"She knew right away she had won," publicist Jenna Hunter said yesterday. "The machine has a big electronic sign above it showing the (jackpot) total and its continuously going up and up and up and up.

"When she put her money in, it would have said $8 million, 900 something ... and all the lights and all the bells and whistles went off."

She was soon surrounded by a large, excited crowd, Hunter said.

"Shes a regular – everybody knew who she was," the publicist said. "We couldnt be more thrilled. They are such nice people."

When a jackpot is won, the slot does not spit out a mountain of coins onto the winners lap. Instead, Falco took home a cheque for $8,920,622.89 – a record payout for a Canadian casino.

"When we called our two daughters to share the good news, they thought we were kidding," Falco said in a Casino Rama news release.

"One even called back to make sure we were serious."

Anna and Franco were out last night visiting a relative, said their daughter Vania, a hairstylist, who answered the phone at the family home where other relatives and friends were gathered.

"Im the one who called them back," she said. "When they go to the casino, I keep telling them to win so they can give some money to me. They said they would."

She said her father is retired and her mother has been a homemaker.

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