Jarred Johnson has made visits to Las Vegas before. He will make some again.
But he might never experience what happened to him approximately one month apart.
Playing Four Card Keno at $20 per spin ($5 for each hand), Johnson hit a 7-spot for $140,000, playing the same machine and same numbers at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
On each keno quadrant, Johnson played 8, 9, 10, 18, 19, 20 and 29 for a $35,000 payout on each of the four cards. He describes the first time this combination hit in September.
“The machine picks all seven numbers in a row … and I screamed out loud, and I tipped my chair back,” he said. “The chair went flying on the floor, I was in tears. It was absolutely shocking.
“And there was a lot of people in there. It was in the middle of ‘Thursday Night Football.’ And people were there watching and then crowding around, ‘What in the world?’ ”
When he came back a month later for a Tennessee-based business to attend a convention, Johnson returned to the Cosmopolitan bar and was surprised to find his numbers setup on the machine had remained.
“So I put $1,500 into the machine, and within five minutes, hit that 7-of-7 again,” he said. “And I did it all over again, freaking and screaming.”
Although it has rewarded him well, Johnson is not bound to the keno machine.
“I’m a late-night dice guy,” he said. “And I love playing real dice (as opposed to the digital machines now abundant across the Las Vegas Valley). I think that’s the way to go.
“I’ve seen some casinos try to adapt to some of the digital games. … For me, I’m not necessarily all there just to play the game. I’m also there to talk, build a relationship (with other players). That’s more important to me. People in Las Vegas are amazing, and it’s fun to come to talk and get to know them.”
Johnson already targeted a solid chunk of his proceeds for a special holiday with his family.
“We’re actually taking my entire family and going to go to Disney World over Thanksgiving,” he said. The jackpots “are going to pay for the whole thing, so that’s actually great.”