GARY — An Illinois woman turned 88 cents into more than $126,000 Saturday when she hit the grand jackpot on a slot machine at the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana.
Teresita K. Nartatez, of Antioch, Illinois, had just $6.20 remaining in the Gold Stacks 88 Turtle Kingdom slot when she took an 88-cent spin, the minimum bet on the machine.
After a bonus feature lasting a few minutes, Nartatez won the machine's maximum payout — a jackpot totaling $126,495.63.
This was Nartatez's first trip to the new Hard Rock Casino, which opened May 14 adjacent to Interstate 80/94 at the Burr Street exit.
Her big win comes the same week that a Chicago man played $2.50 in a progressive penny slot machine at the Hard Rock and won an astounding $293,791.80 on a single spin.
"We are always extremely pleased when a guest to our casino experiences a big win on either our new slots or on our table games," said Matt Schuffert, president of Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana.
The Hard Rock has 1,448 slot machines available to players 24 hours a day. Records show the casino in August paid out more than $10 million to slot machine jackpot winners.
Under federal tax law, a jackpot, also known as a hand pay jackpot, is defined as a single win worth $1,200 or more.