The mother-of-four who thought she won $43million in a New York casino — but ended up being offered nothing more than a steak dinner and $2.25 — is now suing the casino for the whole jackpot.
In August, Katrina Bookman, of Queens, New York, thought she had won $43million while playing a slot machine. She captured the stunning moment in a selfie, where she can be seen smiling next to the ‘Sphinx Slot Machine’s’ screen, which reads ‘Printing cash ticket: $42,949,672.76.’
But, when she went to collect her winnings, she was told that the machine had experienced a glitch and was instead offered a free steak dinner and $2.25 — the amount of money the casino said Bookman was actually supposed to win.
She turned down both the complimentary dinner and the paltry sum.
After months of trying to get them to pay out a more substantial amount, Bookman finally sued the Resorts World Casino on Wednesday, according to CNN Money.
Bookman’s lawsuit claims that the Queens casino was ‘negligent’ because it hadn’t properly maintained its machines and states that Bookman suffered ‘mental anguish’ and a financial setback because she ‘lost the chance and/or opportunity to win.’
She is seeking at least $43million — the same amount she was supposed to have won — in damages.
Her lawyer, Alan Ripka, claims he has been trying to get details from the casino regarding what caused the slot machine to malfunction, but has not received any information.
‘You can’t claim a machine is broken because you want it to be broken,’ Ripka told CNN Money.
He also asked the question of whether the malfunctioning machine meant that it was impossible for any other person who used that particular Sphinx slot machine to win in the days prior to Bookman using it.
In August, a casino spokesperson said that Bookman’s $43million payout was clearly a malfunction, since the machine Bookman used when she thought she hit the jackpot was meant to have a maximum winning payout of $6,500.
Casino officials pulled the machine from the gaming floor immediately to be fixed and the New York State Gaming Commission confirmed to WABC the machine had malfunctioned.
It was also noted that all machines have a stamp on them that reads: ‘Malfunctions void all pays and plays.’
In October, Ripka told WABC that he thought the casino should at least give Bookman the maximum payout, since ‘The machine takes your money when you lose. It ought to pay it when you win.’
In addition to the casino, Bookman’s lawsuit also names Genting New York LLC, its parent company, as well as International Game Technology, the maker of the Sphinx machine, claiming alleged common-law negligence, breach of contract and negligent representation.