Pauline McKee, a 90-year old grandmother of 13 says the big bonus was not meant to be after Iowa Court rules Isle Casino Hotel does not have to pay $41.8 million. The ruling was announced Friday April 24, 2015, but the case has been going on since 2011. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the casino jackpot rules capped at $10,000 stands and the rule against big bonus pay outs also stands. In 2011, while playing a penny slot machine McKee won $1.85, but a message popped up on screen saying she earned a bonus of $41.8 million. The court called this a “gratuitous promise” that the casino does not have to follow through on.
McKee said her reaction at the time was fairly calm. She thought it was “nice, very nice” to see the bonus award. She has even taken the court ruling well.
McKee said, “I had my doubts from the start, because that’s a lot of money for a penny machine. I was hoping to help my children out financially, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
McKee lives on Social Security. She tried to sue to collect the prize after a state investigation. The investigation stated it was a software error.
At the time of the incident Isle Casino Hotel gave her the $1.85 winnings and paid for her hotel room for the night. McKee felt it was terrible not to get any more than her $1.85 winnings given that the machine was in Isle Casino and it did read that she won a bonus.
Stacey Cormican, one of the attorneys for the hotel, said the casino would have to go bankrupt to give out that much in a prize. Casinos have rules that are posted and they must follow those rules. A patron or the casino cannot change those rules in the middle of a game or it would lead to future problems. She also said the software glitch is a rarity.
The casino was aware that the Miss Kitty machine may have a glitch regarding the bonus feature from a bulletin issued by Aristocrat Gaming, the manufacturer. The company sent out a notice to all casinos with their games suggesting they disable the feature.
The rules were also stated on the machine stating any malfunction voids all pays and plays. The court had no choice but to rule in favor of the casino according to an opinion by Justice Edward Mansfield.