Update: Lion’s Share - An Indoor Location Quest

Just a few months later and a few dollars more from my attempt, the Lion's Share paid off $2.4 Million to a New Hampshire man on Friday August 22, according to the Wall Street Journal.

-----  Original Post: June 5, 2014 ------

I was on an indoor location quest. While I’ll don’t indulge in gambling, much, I was fascinated by a story I read recently about a famous slot machine at the MGM Grand Casino. At the time, I was attending the HxGN LIVE event, the user conference of Hexagon that was held at the MGM. So, it was an opportunity to see how quickly I could locate the machine and perhaps beat the house odds.

The Lion’s Share slot machine has not paid out the jackpot for nearly two decades, which now sit at $2.38 million. It has its own Facebook page. There are sometimes waiting lines just to play it. According to an article in the Las Vegas Sun, it has reached legendary status and a cult following.  By Nevada Law, it can’t be removed until it pays out. The casino could remove the machine but it must move the entire jackpot to another machine, which it has no plans to do. According to the Sun, if someone does hit the jackpot, the casino owner is to be notified any time day or night to hand out the check directly.

So, I simply had to find the machine. But where to start? At first I simply wandered the casino but as anyone knows who’s been to a Las Vegas hotel, the whole intent of casinos is such that you never find your way out! With 2000 slot machines, it wasn’t feasible to blindly hope to stumble into it. And it’s not like there is a spotlight hovering over its location.

As indoor location technology advances, wouldn’t it have been nice if the casino had implemented beacon technology to help locate this slot machine. The MGM has an app of course but an indoor map to help gamblers find the Lion’s Share was not a feature.

Fortunately, the Sun article provided the proximal location and a helpful concierge pointed me in the right directly to refine my search. And there it sat, unobtrusive and at this time, looking pretty lonely. I sauntered up, inserted a few bills and promptly lost $20. I figured that if it wasn’t my day, any more of my hard earned money wouldn’t entice the Lion to release the jackpot from its money den. I snapped this photo, geolocated it and vowed to return to find it more easily next time.


Published Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Written by Joe Francica