World

US casino won't be paying 90-year-old woman S$55 million

Ms Pauline McKee thought she had won close to US$42 million (S$55m) at a casino's slots machine.

But a US supreme court recently ruled that the 90-year-old woman would get only US$1.85.

Why so little? Because the million-dollar bonus payout message on the machine had been due a software glitch and the woman was only entitled to the original prize of 185 credits.

The glitch happened at a Miss Kitty slots machine at Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo in July 2011.

Ms McKee was in Iowa for a family event and was staying at the hotel.

She took the company to court after they refused to pay her the bonus of US$41,797,500.16.

What the company said:

  • The maximum prize for the Miss Kitty game had been advertised as US$10,000. The machine was programmed to give bonuses of up to that amount.
  • On-screen rules state that "malfunction voids all pays and plays".
  • The machine's maker, Aristocrat Technologies, was aware of the potential glitch. It said that "component degradation over time may increase the susceptibility to this rare occurrence".

​​What Ms McKee said:

  • Since the company didn't fix the glitch, it should pay her the bonus amount.
  • She claimed breach of contract and consumer fraud.

Mail Online reported that immediately after the glitch occurred, the casino gave Ms McKee a US$10 card to play while it investigated.

It later also paid for her family's stay at the hotel.

Understandably, Ms McKee still isn't happy with the casino.

"They didn't give me anything except what I had on the machine," she said. "If they're not going to give me any money at all, that's terrible."

Sources: BBC News, Mail Online, Iowa Public Radio

GamblingCasinoUncategorisedunited states