New Orleans Man Wins $547,821 Slot Jackpot At Fair Grounds
NEW ORLEANS, La. (July 12, 2008) - Jimmy Burse, a New Orleans-area construction worker, became the biggest winner in the 10-month history of Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots when he hit a $547,821 statewide progressive MegaJackpot® on the Wheel of Fortune® quarters slot machine Friday night.
Burse, 62, is a regular visitor to Fair Grounds. He won $100 on a penny machine before moving on to the Wheel of Fortune® quarters slots. After playing only $38, he hit the statewide progressive MegaJackpot®, which was verified by Louisiana State Police and technicians of IGT, the device's manufacturer.
"I came hoping to just double my money," Burse said. "I was in complete shock and wasn't sure what to do when the machine went off, so I just kept playing on another machine until they told me I hit the statewide progressive."
"It is always exciting to be a part of a life-changing jackpot win," said Fair Grounds vice president and general manager Austin Miller. "Our entire team congratulates Mr. Burse on his new-found fortune and wish him continued luck and prosperity."
While awaiting verification, Burse won another $1,000 playing another machine.
"I guess I was on a winning streak," Burse said. "It has been a very good night!"
Burse plans to keep his job working construction and says he will use his good fortune to help out his 20 siblings and three children.
"I've never won anything like this before, so I want to share the wealth," Burse said with a smile.
The current Fair Grounds slots facility is in a temporary location, located on the first floor of the building adjacent to the grandstand that was previously used for year-round simulcasting. It features up to 250 of the most popular reel and video products on the slot-machine market.
The slot mix includes penny, two-cent, nickel, quarter and dollar games. Also on the floor are a number of stand-alone, in-house, and wide-area progressive machines.
The permanent Fair Grounds slots facility, which will feature up to 700 machines, is nearing completion on the southeast corner of the property and is expected to open later this year.
Hours for the slots facility are 9 a.m.-midnight Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m.-midnight on Sunday.
This is the fourth MegaJackpot®, and third Wheel of Fortune® quarters MegaJackpot®, awarded in Louisiana this year, bringing the state's total to just more than $2.6 million.
All IGT MegaJackpots® are paid in annual installments upon verification by IGT technicians and the Louisiana State Police, except Instant WinnersTM MegaJackpots® and Rapid Riches MegaJackpots®, which are paid in their entirety upon verification.
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation's third-oldest Thoroughbred racing facility, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and nine off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. Fair Grounds' 137th Thoroughbred season will run from Nov. 14, 2008, through March 29, 2009, and will be preceded by its inaugural Quarter Horse meet from Aug. 20-24, 2008. Information about Fair Grounds can be found on the Internet at www.fairgroundsracecourse.com.