WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – A Westchester woman who says she popped into the Empire City Casino on a whim has turned a $10 wager into the second largest win in the Yonkers gaming establishment’s 10-year history.
The slot player, identified only as Linda H., of Thornwood, nailed the $961,411 jackpot on Sunday, Nov. 13, the casino said.
She bet $10 on the $5 denomination Wheel of Fortune slot-machine in the Gotham Palace.
“It was such a shock,” said the winner. “I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was surreal, and a dream come true. Everyone dreams of hitting the big jackpot.”
Linda said that she and her husband, Edward, usually go to Empire City with friends for the slots, dinner and harness racing, but this time it was just the couple, a “spur of the moment” visit which was supposed to be followed by a trip to the supermarket, “but we never made it food shopping because I was too exhausted.”
Edward was at the casino, Linda said, but didn’t have his cell phone on him.
“He met me after all of the excitement,” she said.
In 2015, a Long Island man identified as Howard G., scored Empire City’s record-breaker, a life-changer worth $1,473,503 on the Wheel of Fortune Triple Star slot machine.
“Wheel of Fortune is my favorite game because there are generous jackpots and I like the idea of spinning the wheel,” Linda H. said. “I hit a $4,000 jackpot on ‘the Wheel’ last year, but nothing like this.”
Linda’s hit eclipsed former runner-up Manuel Esteche’s $571,049 by nearly $400,000, and was the 12th six-figure jackpot of the year at Empire City.