Gambler Loses Out on Jackpot Due to Button Push

by Kyle Miller

One gambler is out $100,000 due to a woman pushing the button on his big slot win at a Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Florida.

When it comes to slot gaming, most everyone enjoys pushing buttons and watching the reels spin. It can be quite exciting to play slot games, especially when you are on a role. For most gamblers at a land-based casino, they choose a slot game and stick with it. Players feel that staying with a machine, at least for some amount of time, will result in a win. Often times on television, we see players in movies or shows walk away from a machine only for the jackpot to be hit by the next player. It’s a funny scenario but not something that anyone would want to experience.

Just recently, a gambler in Florida lost out on a $100,000 prize due to someone else hitting the button when the jackpot was hit. It sounds like the stuff of gambling nightmares but is actually true!

Don’t Push My Button

Jan FlatoJan Flato thought he had won $100,000 while visiting the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino when playing the Double Top Dollar slot game. Flato was playing on the 31st of January in Fort Lauderdale when the win occurred but has yet to see a pay day.

The game was created by International Game Technology and has a $50 cost per spin. Flato was playing the game in the High Roller room and was talking to a 35 year old woman named Marina Medvedeva Navarro. Flato has known Navarro for two years and felt they were friends. Navarro ended up with the $100,000 win which has led many to change their game play strategy when it comes to slots.

What Happened?

Flato stated that before the machine hit the big money, he asked his friend to push the button for good luck. Flato says he fed the machine and the money is his. Yet the casino saw Navarro’s finger make the spin begin which is a universal casino policy that means the money is rightfully hers. What would you do in this situation? For many, they would take the money while others might suggest a split. Who should rightfully get the money, the person who paid or the person who hit the button?

Navarro of course has a different story of what happened that night. She says that she had spent $400 of her own money on the machine and even offered Flato a portion of the winnings. Supposed, Flato declined any such offer. In the end, Navarro reportedly asked the security officials of the casino to keep Flato in a secure area while she left the venue with the money. She choose to take $50,000 in cash and $50,000 in check form.

Flato has stated that after the win he heard from Navarro a few weeks later. She texted him stating that she missed him and if he still hated her. I’m sure his response was less than polite. The gambler tried to find lawyers to take his case but no one seems interested or think that he could win back the money. Flato has gone public with his story so that everyone will know what happened and hopefully it will keep a similar incident from happening to someone else.

What would you do in this situation? It does make one pause and think about game play, especially when out with a group of friends and drinking is involved. It could be that a number of people have faced similar situations and losing out on that much money will most definitely harm a friendship.