Shortly after midnight on August 20, 2022, Shelley Araki was playing her last few spins on a Powerbucks progressive slot machine at Elements Casino in Surrey, British Columbia when the lights started flashing. Initially, she was excited at the prospect of having won what she believed was $100 but, when she looked up, realised that she had won the progressive jackpot of $1,157,664.03. According to a press release, she said, ‘I didn’t believe it at first. I kept thinking, ‘Really? Is this happening to me?’

According to the B.C. Lottery Corporation, the odds against winning the progressive jackpot on a Powerbucks slot machine for a $3 stake, as Araki did, are approximately 25,000,000/1. Asked how she felt about defying such astronomical odds, Araki recalled that she once dreamt of winning the lottery. She said, ‘It’s a dream come true. It’s life changing. I’ve worked hard my whole life and now I don’t have to worry. With retirement fast approaching, Araki added that her windfall would allow her to spend more time with her family and invest in the financial future of her grandchildren.

Powerbucks is a progressive pool jackpot linked though slot machines in various locations, on- and offline, throughout the Canadian provinces, including British Columbia, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. The minimum stake is $0.50 and, while stakes between $0.50 and £2.99 qualify to win a static $1,000,000 jackpot, a minimum stake of $3 is required to win the progressive jackpot, which starts at $1,000,000 and grows as each bet is placed across the network.

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