The 7 Most Famous Slot Machine Games in the World

With so many different slot machines available at online and land based casinos, it can be hard to distinguish one game from the rest.

But there are several slot machines that stand out above the rest due to their jackpots and / or place in history.

What are these slots?

Find out below as I cover the 7 most famous slot machines.

1. Megabucks

No slot machine even comes close to being as famous as Megabucks.

Developed by IGT in 1986, Megabucks became the world's first wide area progressive jackpot machine. This means that Megabucks games across the world can contribute to this jackpot, which is seeded at $1 million.

Megabucks is responsible for many of the biggest slots jackpots in history. This includes an anonymous software engineer winning a record $39.7 million at Las Vegas' Excalibur in 2003.

Other big winners include: cocktail waitress Cynthia Jay Brennan winning $34.9 million at Vegas' Desert Inn, a retired flight attendant winning $27.5 million at Vegas' Palace Station, Johanna Huendl winning $22.6 million on her way to breakfast, and an Illinois businessman winning $21.3 million on his first spin.

Even more amazing than these stories is Elmer Sherwin, who won a $4.6 million Megabucks jackpot in 1989 along with a $21.1 million Megabucks jackpot in 2005.

One of these winner's lives went downhill after their prize, which feeds into the theory of a Megabucks curse.

Six weeks after hitting the Megabucks jackpot, Jay Brennan and her sister were hit by drunk driver. Her sister died immediately while Jay Brennan was left paralyzed.

Other curse stories have no factual basis and are considered urban legends, including tales about underage players and casino employees winning but not being able to claim their jackpots due to state laws.

One popular story claimed that a 25 year old Megabucks winner either died in a gang fight or from a drug overdose. But neither version of the story has ever been proven.

Curse or no curse, it's clear that nobody is scared of playing Megabucks because it continues to award multi-million dollar prizes.

2. Wheel of Fortune

Developed by IGT in 1996, Wheel of Fortune is arguably the second most famous slot machine of all time. Based on the game show staring Pat Sajak and Vanna White, Wheel of Fortune is found in many casinos throughout the world.

This game probably has more variations than any other slot in history, but the most popular is still the 3 reel version, which features a colorful wheel at the top.

One thing to note when you play the 3 reel machine is to place a max 3 coin bet because this is the only way to qualify for the progressive jackpot. Many Wheel of Fortune players have become multi-millionaires over the years thanks to this jackpot.

The Wheel of Fortune multiplayer game features a bank of machines where every player gets their own screen. The fun aspect to this multiplayer edition is that people can play the bonus round together, which really magnifies the game show aspect.

But again, none of the newer Wheel of Fortune games measure up to the original because of the big progressive jackpot involved.

3. Lion's Share

This slot machine gained a lot of buzz in 2014 because news outlets covered how Lion's Share's progressive jackpot had gone unclaimed for 20 years.

Despite being a rudimentary 3 reel slot machine, Lion's Share suddenly became one of the hottest games in Las Vegas. People actually waited in line at MGM Grand just to play the city's lone Lion's Share machine.

"This game probably gets played about five times more than our average game on the casino floor," said Justin Andrews, an MGM Grand spokesman. "Our staff gets asked every single day, multiple times, where this game is, from people who haven't played it before."

Finally, a couple from New Hampshire named Walter and Linda Misco hit the $2.4 million progressive jackpot.

Following this jackpot win, MGM Grand chose to retire the Lion's Share machine because it required a lot of maintenance. But this game carved out a place for itself in slots history with a jackpot that took two decades to win.

4. Mega Fortune

Based on luxury cars, yachts, and champagne, Mega Fortune is an online slot machine game which justifies its theme with some of the largest ever online slots jackpots.

NetEnt seeds Mega Fortune's progressive jackpot with €250,000, and it usually grows to a multimillion euro amount before being hit.

In 2013, a Finnish man won a world record jackpot worth €17.8 million on Mega Fortune. This record has since been passed by Mega Moolah, but it shows how rich players can get from playing Mega Fortune.

The process of playing for the jackpot begins when you get 3 or more bonus symbols anywhere on the reels. You then spin a 3 layered concentric wheel, with the jackpot symbol being found on the innermost wheel.

The goal is to get arrows on the outermost and middle wheels so that you can spin the innermost wheel too. This is no easy feat, but it's worthwhile when you consider that Mega Fortune's average jackpot payout is €4 million.

5. Liberty Bell

Invented by a car mechanic named Charles Fey in 1895, the Liberty Bell is the first ever mechanical slot machine.

The Liberty Bell features a coin slot at the top, small reels in the middle and a pay table towards the bottom. Players insert nickels to play, and they pull a lever on the right hand side to spin the reels.

Liberty Bell's symbols include horseshoes, stars, spades, diamonds, hearts, and Liberty Bells. If you get 3 Liberty Bells in a pay line, you win the top payout of 50 cents.

This slot machine remained in its original form until 1910, when Fey created the Operator Bell, which included slight changes like a gooseneck coin slot and fruit symbols.

The Operator Bell and Liberty Bell have long since been removed from casinos in favor of sleeker, modern machines. But you can still find the original Liberty Bell on display in the Liberty Belle saloon in Reno, Nevada.

6. Mega Moolah

Microgaming created Mega Moolah in 2006, which has served as a rival to Mega Fortune's big jackpots.

In 2015, Mega Moolah gained international fame when a British soldier named Jon Heywood won a €17,879,645 payout. This is currently the largest online slots jackpot in history.

As for the game itself, Mega Moolah features a jungle theme with wild animals like antelopes, elephants, giraffes, lions, monkeys and zebras. This slot further sells the jungle theme with African safari music that plays during the game.

Mega Moolah offers a few features, including free spins, a wild symbol and a bonus wheel. The lion serves as the wild symbol and the monkey awards you 15 free spins when it lands 3 times or more anywhere on the reels.

The bonus wheel appears randomly and lets you spin for a number of prizes, including the Mini, Minor, Major, and Mega jackpots. The Mega jackpot is the one that awards the large progressive jackpot.

7. Cleopatra

One of the most crowded themes in slots is the Egyptian theme. But Cleopatra has managed to stand out above similar games and become a classic.

Developed by IGT, Cleopatra is exactly what you'd expect because it features ancient Egyptian music along with symbols like Cleopatra, pyramids, scarabs, the Eye of Horus, and several artifacts.

Cleopatra has been so successful that it spawned a sequel called Cleopatra II, which features richer graphics, different music and up to 50 free spins.

But even if you choose the original game, you'll be playing a classic that's still enjoyed by many players today.


Jackpots seem to be the most universal force in deciding how famous a game will become.

This is especially the case with Megabucks, which has delivered most of the largest slots jackpots in history. Mega Fortune and Mega Moolah have become legendary for paying the biggest jackpots in online slots.

Wheel of Fortune has also awarded multi-million dollar payouts, but its fame comes from a combination of big jackpots and being based on a legendary game show.

The Liberty Bell never gained the large following that any of the other games on this list have. But Liberty Bell will always be remembered for being the first mechanical slot machine.

As for Cleopatra, this game doesn't offer a big jackpot nor does it hold a special place in history. But somehow it's managed to become a favorite among players in both online and land based casinos.