Woman thinks she won $43M after casino error

Posted at 8:34 AM, Nov 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 08:34:52-04

Call it the almost $42.9 million selfie. Katrina Bookman flashed her multi-million dollar smile as a slot machine screen appeared to show evidence of her mega win.

“I kept thinking about my family,” Bookman said.

Bookman’s voice cracks when she remembers her short lived joy. She already earmarked the millions to buy a barbershop for her son and a big chunk that would be given back to her community.

The apparent jackpot hit was in late August at Resorts World Casino in New York.

Bookman’s partner captured the casino chaos on video after she thought she’d hit the jackpot. She was surrounded by customers, casino personnel and security.

Escorted off the casino floor, she was told to come back the next day for the decision.

“I said what did I win? (The casino representative said,) ‘You didn’t win nothing,'” she recalled.

Bookman said the only thing the casino offered her was a steak dinner.

The New York State Gaming Commission said Bookman’s slot machine malfunctioned. “Malfunctions void all pays and plays,” a warning states on all the slot machines in the casino.

“They win and the house doesn’t want to pay out. To me that’s unfair,” Alan Ripka, Bookman’s attorney said.

Ripka and Bookman believe she should win the maximum allowed on the Sphinx machine, which the casino said is $6,500.

“The machine takes your money when you lose. It ought to pay it when you win,” Ripka stated.

“I feel I should win the max and I will treat him to a steak dinner,” Bookman said.

According to the gaming commission, the casino could not legally award the max pay-out.

The gaming commission said Bookman was only entitled to her winnings: just $2.25.

The slot machine was pulled immediately after the incident, fixed, and put back out on the casino floor, according to the gaming commission.

Bookman said she plans to sue the casino.