Mobile Man Wins A Record Slot Machine Jackpot - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/22/03

Mobile Man Wins A Record Slot Machine Jackpot

As Chris Loewen came down an Isle of Capri escalator, you could almost Jeopardy's announcer say, "Our next contestant is an out of work inventory control worker from Mobile. Please welcome Chris Loewen."

The only difference was that this contestant had something to say before the game began. "I'm the millionaire," bragged Loewen, as he showed off his ceremonial check.

The final Jeopardy category in the Chris Loewen story was life changing moments. The answer -- 11:17 Wednesday night. The question -- when did a 25 cent Jeopardy slot machine change Chris Loewen's life forever?

"This is it. This is the machine I hit on right there," said Loewen, when he walked up to the slot machine that made him rich. Loewen had about $200 in the machine Wednesday night when it struck gold.

"I was sitting in my chair like this," said Loewen, leaning back on the slot machine bench. "When I hit the first Jeopardy Jackpot, I leaned back. And when the second one hit, I was leaning on back. And the third one it. When it did, I fell on the floor backward. And my wife was over here. She said, 'What happened, what happened.' I said, 'Oh God, baby, I won, I won.' She said what did you win. I said $13,000."

At that moment, somebody walked by and told Loewen to look at the total again. "I looked back up at the machine and I started counting figures behind it," Loewen remembered. He said, "Oh my God, I won $13 million. $13,789 and some change."

Actually $13,789,894.29. "Oh man, it really hasn't sunk in yet," he said.

Suddenly Loewen had no problem remaining unemployed. Which brings us to our bonus Jeopardy category, spending spree. The answer -- once he pried himself away from the Isle of Capri's slot floor, this is where the new millionaire went. The question -- What is a new car lot.

"I'm going to buy me a Z 71 four wheel drive pickup truck. That's the first thing I'm going to buy me," he said.

Loewen's wife wants a new Cadillac. Will she get it?

"I don't know," said Loewen. "I'm getting my Z 71, you can bet on that."

Loewen has two options. He can be paid over the next 20 years. Or he can get a lump sum check worth quite a bit less. IGT is the company that runs the progressive game. So far, it hasn't released how much the one time payment would be. Loewen said he's going to talk with some financial advisors before he decides how he wants his fortune paid to him.

by Brad Kessie

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