Countdown to the Jackpot Exploring the History and Evolution of Casino Jackpot

When gamblers and statisticians weigh whether a bet is worth the risk, they look at something called expected value. This is calculated by multiplying the probability of winning a bet with its payout.

But it’s not just the money that lottery winners have to worry about. Big prizes also come with huge recurring tax bills and maintenance costs.


There are many words in the English language that have very interesting origins. Unfortunately, most people never think about the history behind these words and just accept them as part of everyday vocabulary. One such word is jackpot, which originated in poker. A jackpot is a pool of money that accumulates until someone wins it. This money can be in the form of either cash or prizes.

In the early 1800’s a game called jackpot poker started to spread. This game was different from traditional poker in that the players would add money to a pot before they dealt their cards. This money would only be won by a player who held a pair of jacks or better. This meant that reckless bluffing was no longer possible.

Today, the term jackpot has become synonymous with good fortune and success. For example, getting a high-paying job or marrying a great person could be considered hitting the jackpot.


The ripped-from-the-headlines story of disgraced DC lobbyist Jack Abramoff is the basis for this sprightly fictionalised drama that features a gripping performance from Kevin Spacey. It’s a pity that George Hickenlooper (Factory Girl, Hearts of Darkness) didn’t live to see his film receive much wider recognition – he died just two days before its US release.

Despite being too focused on the particulars of Abramoff’s career, Casino Jack is an entertaining, engrossing piece of work. Its opening monologue, in which Jack brushes his teeth in front of a mirror while rehearsing an arrogant defense of his lifestyle, is reminiscent of J. Pierrepont Finch fortifying his ego in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. It’s an effective conceit that serves its purpose.


When blackjack first made its way to the United States, gambling houses offered bonus payouts for specific hands. For example, players could win ten-to-one if they received an ace and a black jack. This hand became known as a “blackjack” and helped boost the game’s popularity in America.

Despite being a fictionalized account of a real story, Casino Jack is an entertaining and thought-provoking film. Kevin Spacey gives a solid performance as disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and the movie does an admirable job of capturing the man’s personality and motivations.

The film’s only flaw is that it fails to expose the full extent of Abramoff’s corruption. Hickenlooper’s creators focus too narrowly on one or two “bad apples,” not caring that bushels have fallen from the fatally poisoned tree. Nevertheless, Casino Jack is a highly recommended film. It’s the best thing Spacey has done since his Oscar-winning turns in American Beauty and The Usual Suspects. Jon Lovitz and Kelly Preston provide solid supporting performances.

Bonus rounds

The bonus round of a game show is the part that follows the main game, and often awards real money or prizes. It also usually involves a jackpot. Bonus rounds can take different forms, and are designed to fit the theme of the game show. Some are designed to surprise players, while others are designed to provide a more consistent experience.

Some machines allow multiple jackpots to be won on one play, but each must be won after the previous one has been awarded so as not to violate laws regarding maximum payouts per spin. This is known as a “repeat” or “streak”.

Some games have a special bonus round that can be activated at random, while others require a specific amount of credits to trigger it. For example, the WMS slot game Super Jackpot Party has a bonus round that activates whenever a Surprise Party chant is heard or when noisemaker characters appear on the first three reels simultaneously.

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