There are thousands of different slot machines and online slots games catering to every taste and every level of proficiency. From 3-reel to 5-reel and more, from classic fruit machine to immersive 3D video, from basic themes to extravagant Egyptology to blockbuster movie tie-ins and even rock bands, the choices seem limitless and are only getting bigger and better as the developers add more interactivity and more bells and whistles to our favourite spinning hobby.
And yet, even with all the advances in technology and game design, there are certain slots that will always be known to players, that will always have that element of awe and an air of fame.
The CasinoPlay crew took a look at the most famous slots in the world.
This had to start the list – Liberty Bell: the original, the first, the slot machine that beget a multi-billion-dollar gaming and entertainment empire!
The Liberty Bell slot machine was slots play at its most basic – a mechanical, 3-reel, single pay line slot machine operated by a big handle on the side (which is where the name ‘one-armed bandit comes from). Developed around 1895 by Charles Fey, the Liberty Bell slot machine still influences slot machines and slot play today.
For those of you who are new to the slots world, a 3-reel, one pay line slot machine may seem a bit … boring … to feature on a famous slots list, especially considering it’s fame was created in 2014 when there were a bunch of more playable and exciting games on offer – especially in Las Vegas.
What set Lion’s Share apart was that no one had hit the progressive jackpot in 20 years. When news of this spread, queues of slots fans began lining up to take a shot at finally being the one to break the jackpot hoodoo and walk away a multimillionaire.
Finally, on 24 August 2014, a New Hampshire couple did what no one in the previous two decades could and hit a $2.4 million jackpot.
At one stage, according to MGM Grand, the Microgaming-developed slot machine was being played once every five seconds.
Megabucks from IGT was the first wide area progressive slot, a slot machine that was networked and linked to every person playing that slot machine. What this meant is that instead of having a fixed jackpot, Megabucks took a percentage of every bet placed by every player who was playing – anywhere in the world. These percentages were continually added to the jackpot total to create truly staggering amounts.
For example: in 2003 a software engineer won $39.7 million and in 2000 a cocktail waitress won $34.9 million. There was even the man who won not once but twice (a $4.6 million in 1989 and then a $21.1 million jackpot in 2005).
Another IGT entry, Cleopatra has become one of the most recognised slot games in slots history – and the originator of one of the most enduring themes ever: the Egyptology/ancient mysteries theme.
While many games have copied (or paid tribute to) Cleopatra, this was the original and even the modern remake, Cleopatra II, can never outshine what this game achieved.
Book of Ra is one of those games that took its cue from Cleopatra – and then ran with it.
Novomatic took the ancient Egypt theme and added an Indiana Jones-type archaeologist/explorer to the mix – and a bunch of innovative extras including engaging storytelling and bonuses – to create one of the most enduring online slots legacies around.
Continued updates and additions (we are currently on Book of Ra deluxe 6 plus at least two spin-offs Book of Atlantis and Temple of Gold) have kept Book of Ra on the favourites lists for years.
Every slots spinner worth their salt has hit Gonzo’s reels at one time or another. The odd little Spanish explorer searching for El Dorado has gone through a number of updates – including an amazing Megaways version – but NetEnt’s high quality graphics, sound and gameplay have never been compromised.
Gonzo’s Quest was a true breakthrough in what can be done with slots, especially in the online world, with engaging intro movies, innovative cascading reels and a truly gripping character.
This opulence and luxury themed slots game certainly lives up to its imagery of champagne and yachts and limos and jewellery – NetEnt’s iconic progressive slot has paid out some of the biggest jackpots in history.
And when we say big, we really mean it. The Mega Fortune jackpot won by a Finnish man in 2013 stood at an eye-watering €17,861,800! And to really rub it in? It was on a 25c bet.
But that’s not the only big win from this big money slots game: there was also an €11.7 million win in 2011 and consistently pays out jackpots over one million Euros.
‘The Millionaire Maker’. Not a name to be taken lightly in an industry where pro poker players can walk away with a million-dollar pot. Or where you have online slots games like Mega Fortune above that could also lay claim to that title.
So what sets Mega Moolah from Microgaming apart?
Firstly, it holds the Guinness World Record for biggest online casino jackpot payout of all time – €17,879,645 won by J. Heywood in 2013 (25 minutes after opening his Betway account!).
While this is only 37-odd thousand Euros more than the Mega Fortune jackpot above, it is still the biggest, and not the only one.
Here are a few of the Mega Moolah jackpots that have been won:
€14,679,886.17 – Mega Moolah – 2020
€10,735,716.84 – Mega Moolah – 2020
€8,577,204 – Mega Moolah – 2015
€7,900,000 – Mega Moolah – 2016
€7,784,425.63 – Mega Moolah – 2020
According to their website, Mega Moolah games have paid out over a BILLION dollars in jackpots!
It really is no wonder that it’s the most famous slots game in history.