Last updated: 10:30 AM ET, Wed November 02 2016

$43 Million? Uh, No, But How About A Nice Steak Dinner?

Impacting Travel Rich Thomaselli November 02, 2016

$43 Million? Uh, No, But How About A Nice Steak Dinner?

Photo courtesy Thinkstock

‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Eh, OK.

We wouldn’t wish this next loss on anybody.

A woman who thought she hit a $43 million jackpot on slots at a New York City casino – even taking a selfie in front of the winning machine – was denied her winnings when the casino told her that the machine had malfunctioned.

Her consolation prize? The casino offered her a steak dinner.


From multi-millionaire to just a regular old casino comp in less than a day.

The incident played out in August at Resorts World Casino in New York City’s Queens borough, where Katrina Bookman thought she had won $42,949,672 playing slots. It would have been the largest slots jackpot in U.S. gaming history.

Bookman, as any normal person would have, immediately began playing out in her mind what she would do with the money. She told New York’s WABC-TV that she was raised in foster care and was homeless as a teenager. She is now raising four children and said she was going to use a portion of the money to buy her son a barber shop and help out her community.

The casino, however, knew right away something was wrong. Even with progressives the slots were not set to pay out that much. Bookman was escorted from the floor and asked to come back the next day to talk with casino officials. When she returned, she was delivered the bad news – the slot machine had malfunctioned and, in reality, she hadn’t won a dime.

Not even the $6,500 maximum the machine was set to pay out. And the ruling was backed up by the New York State Gaming Commission, which affirmed that the machine had a glitch but also ruled that “malfunctions void all pays and plays” – meaning Resorts World couldn’t even give her the $6,500 as a token.

The commission said it could only award Bookman her actual winnings of $2.25, printed by the machine – oh, and the complimentary steak dinner that Resorts World offered her. Bookman has retained an attorney to fight the decision.

"They win, and now the house doesn't want to pay out. To me that's unfair," Bookman's attorney, Alan Ripka, told CNN.