Over the weekend prior to Christmas, 85-year-old New Jersey Pensioner, Harold McDowell decided to visit a casino in in Atlantic City and unwind a little in the Holiday Season. He had a very special Christmas this year for two big reasons.
Harold McDowell hit a $1 million 3-Card Poker jackpot the same week that doctors confirmed that his wife was cancer free. Following several surgeries for liver cancer and hospital stays for colon cancer, his better half was given the medical all clear on Friday. The following day on Saturday afternoon, Harold McDowell of Lakewood, New Jersey, USA won the $1 million prize.
“It was better news that she’s healthy – money isn’t the most important thing,” McDowell said in an interview after his big win.
When asked what he would do with his monster jackpot win, the 85-year-old said he was planning on giving most of it to his children.
“It must be luck of the Irish,” retired public works director McDowell said afterwards, “They’re both great news.”
What Poker Hand did Harold win on?
Harold overcame the 20 million-to-1 odds to take home the big jackpot prize. During his 3-card poker game at the Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City on Saturday, Harold hit a royal straight flush of diamonds after making a 3-card poker “6 Card Bonus” bet.
Harold was dealt the 10, queen and ace of diamonds. The dealer’s hand was the nine, jack and king of diamonds.
The casino revealed afterwards that the odds of winning had been just one in 20,348,320.
Harold added that his wife was by his side when he won the hand and she was even more shocked than he was.
Mr McDowell went on to add: “I happened to be playing next to my wife. I had my back to her.”
“I turned around to her and said: ‘I just won a million dollars’.”
“I was dumbfounded,” McDowell continued. “I sat there like an idiot.” he said. “She told me, “You’re full of crap.” With the reality of the win slowly sinking in, they were both ecstatic with joy.
“Our lives will probably stay pretty much the same. But it might get better for our children,” Harold said. “Maybe we’ll take a cruise.”
The casino took out as much as $200 000 in taxes from Harold’s big win.
How 3-Card Poker with a 6 Card bonus works
3-Card Poker with a 6 Card Bonus is a casino table game (also available in online casinos versions) against the dealer. It starts off with three independent bets: The Ante, Pair Plus and the 6 Card bonus.
The Ante bet is the only bet that is required. 6 Card bonus and the Pair Plus are both optional bets. Once the bets have been placed, both dealer and the player are dealt three cards.
The 6-Card Bonus bet is an additional optional bonus bet. It pays based on the highest five-card poker hand possible that is made out of the 3 player’s and 3 dealer’s cards combined. It has a house advantage of 10.23%.
Harold’s big win was one of the $1 million Super Royal hands, which at Atlantic City’s Casino operate on fixed payouts (see pay table below).