Any slot game is just like any other slot game, right? You make a bet, spin the reels, and either win or don’t win. Seen one, seen them all. Right? There are some slots that have seen success on an unprecedented level at trusted sites. Games that broke the mould, got the public’s attention in a big way, and shook the gambling industry. We’re talking about slots that, against all expectations, became a global phenomenon.
Let’s take a look at the most successful slots of all time, and investigate what they did to get so much attention.
Megabucks – 1986
For the longest time if you played a slot, the most you could hope for was a few hundred bucks. But then, in 1986, along came a little game known as Megabucks. Courtesy of still active developers IGT, Megabucks did something astounding. Instead of just offering minor jackpots of a few hundred, Megabucks gave the chance to walk away a multi-millionaire. Needless to say, if you were alive in the 80s, and went anywhere near a casino, you are very familiar with the site of buzzing crowds lining up to play Megabucks.
Yes, Megabucks, still available to play today, was the first progressive jackpot game. It has a history of making millionaires that goes back decades, including some legendary stories like the cocktail waitress, Cynthia Jay Brennan. Brennan is known to have hit a staggering jackpot of $34.9 million.
Interestingly, although Megabucks is still extremely popular to this day, it doesn’t offer the biggest progressive jackpot. It just goes to show that reputation counts for a lot.
Wheel Of Fortune
The Wheel Of Fortune slot, also courtesy of IGT, came out swinging in the 90s. The game, of course, is an almost exact replica of the popular TV show. Given that millions tuned in to the show on a weekly basis, IGT made the shrewd calculation that a slot would get just as much attention. They were right.
Besides the branding, the Wheel Of Fortune game is also the first to include a multiplayer feature. If you’re playing at the same bank of slots as others, you can share the bonus round. Very impressive in the 90s.
Lion’s Share is a game with a fascinating story. Releasing in the 90s, only to largely be overlooked, it suddenly got the spotlight in 2014. Word got out that the game hadn’t paid its jackpot in 20 years, meaning that the available amount sat at around $2.4 million.
Slot enthusiast quickly did the maths, figuring that a payout was imminent. For a time Lion’s Share became a Vegas phenomenon, with crowds gathering to have a shot at the jackpot. Linda and Walter Wisco from New Hampshire eventually hit the big one, marking the end of the Lion’s Share anomaly.
If you have any interest in slots you’ve probably already heard of Mega Fortune. First hitting the scene in 2013, it shot to the top of the popularity charts when an anonymous Finnish player hit a £17.8 million jackpot. The game remains extraordinarily popular to this day, drawing in tens of thousands of players regularly.
Most interesting of all is that no one has ever hit as big a jackpot again. Jackpots have hit, but only with an average of a £4 million payout. You can head to a site like Lake Palace casino and try it out for yourself.
Mega Moolah is another enormously popular slot, only in this case shook up the online world. Mega Moolah still, to this day, holds the record for paying out the most jackpots of any online slot. After releasing in 2005, it all got going in 2015 when an anonymous soldier hit a £17,879,645 payout.
Once the ball got rolling, it didn’t stop. Mega Moolah is known to pay out jackpots fairly regularly, giving it a reputation as the most generous online slot in the world. If it is or isn’t the most generous online slot is a matter of opinion, but that doesn’t stop Mega Moolah from being a global hit.
Why the ancient Egyptian theme is so popular in slots isn’t exactly clear, but there sure are a lot of them. Trying to figure out where the trend started is difficult, but it certainly goes as far back as the 80s. One of the most popular Egyptian-themed slots of all time is Cleopatra, also coming from IGT.
Cleopatra went live in 2012, gaining instant popularity around the world. The game got so much attention, and drew such crowds, that a sequel dropped not long after. For a slot game to get a sequel, you know it’s doing something right. It isn’t clear why Cleopatra is such a hit, other than that sometimes players just like the look of a certain slot.
Never heard of Liberty Bell? Well, it just so happens to be amongst the most popular slots of all time. Liberty Bell came courtesy of James Frey in 1895. The game, simple by today’s standards, gave out the biggest jackpot if 3 Liberty Bell symbols hit the reels.
Upon release, Liberty Bell saw instant, widespread success, with players crowding around in various pubs and saloons to try out the mechanical marvel. The game saw such popularity that Frey couldn’t keep up with demand, eventually having to hire dozens of helpers. You can still see the original Liberty Bell it was on display in the Liberty Belle Saloon in Nevada for years, but has since come to rest at the Nevada Museum.
Slots Come And Go
Dozens of slots release almost every month. Most are nothing more than a passing fancy, getting some attention but ultimately passing into history. That some slots stand apart is most often an anomaly, but also sometimes a sign of innovation.
Truthfully, no matter which slot you play your chances of winning are more or less equal. This doesn’t stop the games from being fun, of course, as you probably already know. Either way, if you’re keen to check out Mega Moolah right about now, we don’t blame you.