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California woman wins Vegas jackpot

California woman wins Vegas jackpot

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — A retiree from Covina, Calif., got a check Monday for almost $908,000 after winning a $22.6 million Megabucks slot machine jackpot at a Las Vegas Strip casino.

Johanna Heundl, 74, a frequent visitor to Las Vegas, won the statewide progressive jackpot after putting $177 into the $1 Megabucks game at Bally's hotel-casino, an official with casino owner Park Place Entertainment said.

Heundl was staying at Bally's after having been awarded two free nights for her birthday, May 17.

She took an option for a lump-sum payment, and received a check for $907,799.33 from Ken Geiger, Park Place slot operations vice president.

Megabucks wins also can be paid in 25 annual installments. The casino said Heundl's total will depend on prevailing interest rates.

Heundl, a widow, is a native of Vienna, Austria. She and her husband moved to the United States in 1956, and bought a home in the suburbs east of Los Angeles in 1957.

She told casino officials she wasn't sure what she'll do with all of her winnings, but said she will spend part of it to visit two brothers and two sisters still living in Europe.

Casino officials said it was the 57th jackpot awarded in the Megabucks game, and the third-largest. It was the first Megabucks win at Bally's.

The world-record slot jackpot was a $35 million Megabucks win in January 2000 at the now-closed Desert Inn in Las Vegas.

Nevada Megabucks machines, by International Game Technology, are linked in 157 casinos statewide. The game builds from a base amount of $7 million.

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