A New Zealand man is now NZ$10.1 million (US$7.2m) richer after winning a huge slots jackpot through Microgaming's Mega Moolah.
The big winner, Rawiri Pou, was featured at an Auckland press conference, where he received an over-sized novelty check worth NZ$10,144,395.82 (US $7.2m).
Pou currently works at a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Matamata, a small New Zealand town that served as the location for The Lord of the Ring's Hobbiton. Even after winning the massive payout, the 27-year-old doesn't have any immediate plans to quit his job, saying that he "doesn't know what to feel" yet about his millionaire status.
What's interesting about Pou's jackpot is that he originally started with $250, and hit a $1,500 payout. Rather than being satisfied with this prize, he used it to continue playing until he eventually won the $10.1 million prize. Pou had recently been scolded by his parents for playing slots so much, but now they are happy for him.
"I still can’t believe this is real," he said. "I’ve been in shock since I won and it is literally going to change my life. There is so much I want to do with this money and it couldn’t have come at a better time. My family are overwhelmed and so happy."
John Quinn, Head of Casino at Microgaming, is thrilled to see Pou become the latest big winner of Mega Moolah's jackpot.
"Mega Moolah and our progressive jackpot network continues to make the headlines," Quinn said. "To be able to deliver frequent life-changing jackpots to our operators’ players is certainly a highlight of the job."
While Pou's NZ$10.1 million payday is definitely impressive, it's far from the largest jackpot in Mega Moolah history. Just last fall, a British man named Jonathan Heywood won a prize worth €17,879,645 (NZ$27.9m).
Aside from wanting to buy the usual luxuries that come from a huge jackpot win - like a Bentley Continental car and Mediterranean cruise - Heywood also wants to pay for his father's medical expenses. "I'd give all this money back for him to be healthy again," the 26-year-old said.
Just two months ago, another player cracked the Mega Moolah jackpot for €6,905,670. Unlike Pou and Heywood, this player chose to remain anonymous after their big win. But Quinn added a few words about the last winner before Pou.
"It’s not long since we were celebrating our historic and record-breaking win," Quinn said. "To be able to crown another millionaire so soon after is brilliant – congratulations to the lucky player."
What's interesting is that after this player won the Mega Moolah jackpot, it had already surged over €6.5 million before Pou won. That said, it shouldn't be long before we see another big Microgaming winner.