Yonkers, NY—James E. Dobson and his good friend Donzella Parker Bert made a four-hour bus trip from Stevensville, Maryland, to New York to visit Aunt Thelma Sligh, to celebrate her 89th birthday over Memorial Day weekend. There was even greater merriment than anticipated when Mr. Dobson hit a $143,723 jackpot at Empire City Casino in Yonkers on Saturday (May 27).
“We hadn’t seen Aunt Thelma in three or four years, so we took the bus to New York, not wanting to deal with the holiday traffic,” explained Dobson.
Aunt Thelma (actually Donzella’s aunt) lives in Harlem, and “she wanted to go to the casino,” since it would be a festive locale to celebrate. She and Donzella share the same birthday, May 28th.
“It only took two spins,” said the avid casino-goer, who visits Delaware Park, the Horseshoe in Baltimore, and Dover Downs casinos, all much closer to home. “I usually play the slots, for $5 to $10 spins, but this was the biggest jackpot I ever hit.” As is customary, Dobson made a $10 wager on a $5 denomination machine, this time on the wildly-popular Wheel of Fortune slot in the Gotham Palace for the big payday at 8:00 PM Saturday.
“We’ll be back,” he vows.
Dobson, 76, a retired welder (45 years at Grumman), said that he was “alone when I hit the jackpot. When they got back, they were so happy to see me win.”
He reports that I gave them “a birthday present,” sharing part of the winnings, which he plans to invest. “I have scheduled a meeting with my broker.”
Oh, by the way, it was also an early birthday party for Dobson, who celebrates his on June 8th.
When not playing the slots or visiting Aunt Thelma, Dobson is an avid fisherman, “I live on Chesapeake Bay,” he says, and also hunts and bowls. The slots have now become his most lucrative hobby.
The Wheel of Fortune has been more than good to Empire City players from near and far. Just six days earlier, on May 21, another lucky James made a shorter trip from The Bronx to Yonkers a winning journey when James M. hit a $149,931 jackpot at Empire City. The six-figure score was also made in the Gotham Palace on the Wheel of Fortune, just yards away from the slot machine where a New York State racetrack casino record $1,713,985 jackpot (as of Tuesday, May 30) is still waiting to be hit. James made a $6 wager on a $1 denomination machine to score at 4:23 PM.
The Empire City life-changer still looming continues to soar. On May 9, it eclipsed $1.6 for the first time in history. On April 17, it had soared past $1.5 million for the first time, and on April 10, when it reached $1,480,045, it eclipsed the previous all-time Empire City and New York racetrack casino jackpot record hit by Howard Gershowitz of Suffolk County, Long Island ($1,473,503 on October 25, 2015).
This record-breaker is ripe again for winning and is only available on two Wheel of Fortune slots at Empire City Casino. Who will be the next Howard G.?!
The Wheel of Fortune Triple Star slot is one of the most popular slot machines in the world. There have been many television show-themed slots that have attempted to bring the action from the screen to the slot world, but none have succeeded in the dazzling style of Wheel of Fortune, which has captivated gamblers for years with high jackpots and spinning money wheels.