One word that gets gamblers’ blood pumping is “jackpot.” It’s the prize money in a casino game, and it’s the stuff of legend. Whether you’re talking about the top payout on a slot machine or the first player to get a blackjack, it’s a major event that can change your life in an instant.
But a jackpot isn’t always as large as it seems. A lot goes into creating and paying out a jackpot. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how it works.
The History of Jackpot
The term “jackpot” dates back to 1880s slang, used when poker players would raise the ante until someone came up with a pair of jacks or higher. The winner took the pot, which was known as the “jacks’ pot,” or “jacks’ pot.” Later, the word was applied to gambling games and then to casinos.
Casinos offer two types of jackpots: flat or progressive. Flat jackpots are set at a specific amount and are often restricted to a single machine, while progressive jackpots are based on the percentage of all bets made at the game. This is how jackpots can grow so quickly.
When you win a jackpot, you’ll likely get a visit from a casino worker to verify the amount and ask for identification. That’s because the casino has to keep records of your winnings and check that you’re not on any state’s list of restricted people. They also have to process the tax paperwork, which can take hours.