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Binion’s brings back Million Dollar Display after 3 years

The grand opening ribbon of the new iteration of the Million Dollar Display at Binion’s hotel-casino had barely fallen off the plexiglass when a customer asked staff the usual question: Is the money real?

Oh yes, it is. One million dollars sits neatly stacked in a pyramid behind 182 pounds of plexiglass: $42,000 in $1 bills, $688,000 in $20 bills and $270,000 in $100 bills — Benjamins proudly looking out the glass in a modernized display of the property’s most famous and long-standing tourist attraction in downtown Las Vegas.

Binion’s unveiled the display Friday to a crowd of casino workers and curious customers who hadn’t seen the famous bill stacks for three years. The casino removed the display in 2020 to address social distancing requirements during the pandemic, slot club manager Julie Childers said.

New to this display is an automated photo system. Before, a staff member took guest photos and handed them a printed-out version. This display allows the user to take the photo by pressing a button to activate the wall-mounted camera. They can send the photo to an email address or phone number. The experience is free and limited to adults 21 and up.

Slot club representative Ann Ragsdale, a Binion’s employee for 18 years, used to run the photo booth and said she’s glad the display is back and can inspire awe in guests.

“You don’t see that every day — some people have never seen it in a lifetime,” Ragsdale said. “So when you see it, it’s awesome. (Guests are) like a kid on Christmas morning, going, ‘Oh wow! Are you serious?’”

The Million Dollar Display story goes back to 1954. The casino, then the Horseshoe Club, showed off its collection of 100 $10,000 bills in a display shaped like a horseshoe. Terry Caudill, president and owner of TLC Gaming Enterprises, purchased Binion’s in 2008 and brought back the historic attraction, sans the $10,000 bills.

The new attraction also expands on how the display case is stacked and made with a continuously running video nearby — that way, visitors can see how real the money is.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.

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