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The Legendary Lion's Share Slot Machine Is Still Not Giving It Up

Where: 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
March 6, 2014 at 6:43 PM | by | ()

A year ago, we told you about the legendary Lion's Share slot machine at MGM Grand, the only old-school slot machine left on the floor and the only one that hasn't delivered a pay-out since it was installed in the mid-1990s.

Fast forward to the present and the machine is still not giving it up. At the same time, it's collecting mad money from gamblers -- both serious and casual -- who sit at the machine for hours on end, hoping, praying, wishing, applying for second mortgage that they will hit the progressive jackpot which is about $2.3 million these days.

We checked out the machine last night, located in a corner across from the Grand Wok cafe (it's back is to the cafe, actually) and we were dismayed to see a bunch of drunken dudes banging on the machine, calling it names and obsessively punching the spin wheel. As we watched with a horrified expression, an older man walked by and said, "You got to treat it with love to get love." #TRUTH

And, we're not the only ones who've had a hard time getting our turn in the chair, especially after the Wall Street Journal featured the game last month:

A woman, who was waiting for a turn (good luck!) when we popped by last night, said a floor employee told her the machine has paid out $10,000 a few times, but only when the three lions show up on any line and, obviously, not when all three lions are on the same line, which is jackpot.

While we do hear stories of folks who randomly walk up to a machine and win a crazy jackpot, we just don't think that's going to happen here. We don't even think it will happen for the people who spend hours on the machine. At this point, don't you think MGM Grand has rigged the machine just a bit to keep it from paying out? It's reached cult status now, so why give that up?

[Photo: VegasChatter]

Archived Comments:

the wait...

Tried twice the last trip to get on.  Both times the line was at least 6 or 8 deep and not moving.

The recent publicity has really spiked interest.  A guy in line told me he read about it while in Afghanistan!

It was our little secret

I liked it when the Lion's Share machine just had a little cult following.  There was never a wait to play it, and the only difficult part of the experience was finding where MGM had moved it to between Vegas trips.

a little history...

First time posting, long time reader.  Back in the 90's just past the lobby/check-in, there were a whole bank of these lion machines with a single progressive.  We're talking a bank with a couple of attendents inside the rectangle of machines.  They took the bank out and left one machine with the entire progressive about 10 years ago.  The machine has moved around over the years and been where it is now for about 3 years.  The jackpot has actually been 'won' at least twice per MGM high-limit staff, but never with 3 coins played.  Just remember, this is not a ticket in-out machine.  If you want to cash out, be prepared to wait for payment as it no longer has coins to give you $$, even a single dollar.  I have won the $10k lions not all on the payline twice.  Always play it when in town.

another press link

another in depth article was on the Las Vegas Sun website last month which no doubt caught the attention of some locals too who didn't already know about it...for sure the machine is way busier lately on this publicity 'high' than it has been on my trips in the last couple of years.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/vegasdeluxe/2014/feb/19/cult-2345-million-lion-slot-machine-payoff-mgm-gr a/

(can't get this to hyperlink, if copy pasting be sure to remove the space before the 'ra' at the end that the comments function is randomly adding)


having read both WSJ and Sun articles about people using their feet and 'backsides' to push the buttons, I am 100% going to be pulling the lever next time I play!


Yes, I think the Sun piece was, umm, 'inspired' by the WSJ one. Here's the link for clicking. We had to disable HTML usage due to spam:

The legend and cult of the $2.345 million Lion's Share slot machine at MGM Grand

Maybe choose a different slot?

The more I think about it, I've heard about a lot of Megabucks and Wheel of Fortune multimillion wins over the last few years, but none for Lion's share...perhaps that is saying something?

Why Hasn't The MGM Grand Embraced This?

The one thing about Lion's Share that I can't figure out is why hasn't the MGM Grand embraced this opportunity?  This machine shouldn't be tucked off to the side, hiding in the shadows, it should be in the center of the floor.  It should be well lit perhaps on a small platform and have at least 3 cameras capturing every second of action from different angles.  One of which should be live streaming to the web.  Why not have a slot attendant (perhaps dressed as a Vegas show girl) assigned to the machine at all times to handle payouts and answer questions about Las Vegas' most famous slot machine.  It would make the nightly news every time somebody hit for $10,000 but missed the jackpot.  And when somebody finally does win, it might be the lead story on the national nightly news.  I would bet it would never be idle (except for repairs) and you wouldn't have to worry about anyone mistreating the machine as someone would always be watching it in person or on the web.  And while we're at it, let's throw a billboard up on the I-15 offering not just money but Vegas immortality to the person that wins the Lion's Share!

Secret Club

I think MGM likes to keep it a bit of a secret club. It obviously has a big fan base if people are always lining up to play. Its more fun that way vs exploiting it.

Something wrong

I played it for the first time last May when I was in town and I'm pretty sure the problem is the RNG chip. My heart sank as soon as I saw that it was a Konami machine as opposed to an IGT, Bally's or WMS. Keep in mind these slots are dependent on the RNG chip having a jackpot payout code programmed into it but if there's a problem with the chip then it's no go. If I were MGM, I'd replace the RNG chip, even if it comes from another slot manufacturer.


Nevada gaming board should check this machine out

@ patcamp22

I agree, MGM should milk this for all its worth!  Though I do have to wonder if, as Stardustlives suggests, there is something wrong with the machine.  I can't imagine MGM rigging it to never pay out and thereby risking the wrath of the authorities!

Lions share

I played this last year put in 100 and walked away with 256 about 20 min later. I was satisfied.

I will try to make a stop sometime this week when i am in town, march 14-17.

look out lions share here i come

Back in 1997 I booked a trip from Australia to las vegas and was staying at MGM grand. An uncle returned from a trip to vegas a month earlier and gave me a magazine titled whats on in vegas where there was a full page add advertising the lions share slot machine which had grown to $2.2M. I ripped this page out and placed it in my suit case planning to play these machines as soon as i arrived.

I arrived in vegas and promptly dumped my suitcases in my room along with my wife who went to bed and raced down to play these machines. I lined up at a cashier for change (not knowing US machines had note acceptors). The jackpot was still there on the sign above machines as it hadn't gone off. I got to the front of the cashier queue when jackpot sign above machines changed colour and started flashing. i asked cashier what this meant and she said jackpot must have just gone off.

Got my change and went to the machines where security had roped off a machine where a young couple were sitting. They had just won the $2.3M  jackpot and i was just standing there in shock.. I would say there were maybe only 4 to 5 people playing these machines (had a bank of around 50 machines at the time) when jackpot hit. I travelled half way around the world only to miss by a few minutes. Oh If only!!!! This must have been the last time jackpot went off.

Well i have now booked another trip to vegas in around 6 weeks time and guess where I will be going for some unfinished business!! However knowing my luck jackpot will go off whilst i am in the queue.LOL.