PHILADELPHIA, Apr 21 (Reuters) An 84-year-old New Jersey woman won 10 million dollars on a nickel slot machine in an Atlantic City casino in what the operator said was the largest prize in the city's gambling history.
Great-grandmother Josephine Crawford of nearby Galloway Township was playing the nickel slots yesterday in Harrah's casino in the game where each play costs 5 cents, or a nickel.
When she was down to her last 5 dollars credit, the Megabucks machine suddenly flashed the news she had won the jackpot of 10,010,113.48 dollars, casino spokesman Christopher Jonic said.
''There were a whole lot of bells and whistles, and she had no idea really what had happened,'' Jonic said.
The win of yesterday evening was confirmed by Harrah's staff and by International Gaming Technology, the owner of the machine, and Crawford was presented with a check, Jonic said.
She has the option of taking the money as a lump sum of around 5.5 million dollars after taxes, or accepting a 25-year annuity.
''Somehow, I'll spend it. I'm just happy I won it, for my family, although they don't need it,'' Crawford told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The jackpot was accumulated by Megabucks, which operates hundreds of slots in Atlantic City's 12 casinos, and takes a small portion of every play. The jackpot had not been won for about three years.
Crawford's win beats the previous Atlantic City record of 8.54 million dollars in August 1994. She had been a customer at the casino since 1980.
REUTERS PG PM0500