Win once and then stop playing? Professional blackjack player Don Johnson from the USA doesn’t share this philosophy. In April 2011, he started a 12-hour gaming marathon. For a large part of those 12 hours, Johnson played 3 hands at the same time. At the end of the night, he left the casino with 1.2 million dollars. But it was no time for celebration. It was just the beginning. In the months that followed, he won 4 million, then 5 million more, and then capped his months-long sequence of success with a 15 million win. Despite the insistence of casino representatives to catch Johnson counting cards, the casino had to admit that his wins had been achieved by legal means. Although Johnson is no longer a welcome guest in some casinos after his large winnings, he is still a well-known figure in gambling circles and now calls himself a gambling strategist.
Elmer Sherwin: When luck knocks twice
They say that you only get a big lottery ticket once in a lifetime. For American Elmer Sherwin, one jackpot was not enough. The odds of winning the Megabucks jackpot are less than 1 in 10 million. Elmer Sherwin won it for the first time in 1989. Patiently continuing to play his favourite game, in 2005, at the venerable age of 91, Sherwin smashed all the odds and won the jackpot again. Sherwin donated much of his winnings to Hurricane Katrina relief and shared the rest with his children. After his second win, Sherwin said he would try for a third Megabucks jackpot.
Antonio Esfandiari: Do magic tricks help you win?
Antonio Esfandiari, also known as The Magician, is a magician whose luck and skill at the poker table led him to change his profession and become a professional poker player. Why pull rabbits out of a hat when you can pull real money at the poker table? In 2012, the Magician won his biggest ever poker prize of €17.7 million. He himself said it was the purest luck. But the fact that Esfandiari’s total career winnings are estimated at more than 27 million shows his professional skills… with a little practical magic thrown in.
John Tippin: From postman to millionaire
Sometimes the difference between a modest life as a postman and €11 million can be a €9 bet on a slot machine. In 1996, this happened to John Tippin from Honolulu, USA. Not a regular gambler, he pulled a lucky draw while on holiday in Las Vegas. After winning the Megabucks slot, Tippin couldn’t believe his luck and said he had never expected to hit the jackpot. Several years after the lucky draw, Tippin wrote a book called “I Did It”, in which he shares his authentic experiences of how not to succumb to the negative temptations of sudden money and recognition.