Slot Pays $600,000 At Mazatzal Casino


A 63-year-old Valley woman who came to Payson to escape the heat found a hot slot Sunday at the Mazatzal Casino.

Laura Ann Cuccurullo won $600,679 at 12:30 a.m. and was the first-ever winner of the Arizona Jeopardy! MegaJackpot.

Cuccurullo was back at her Phoenix home Monday and was not available for comment.

James McDermott, general manager of the casino, said the winner got a $21,000 check on the day of the jackpot. She will receive the money in annual installments of $30,034 over 20 years.

"They did some IRS withholding on that," McDermott said.

He said the machine Cuccurullo won on has been at the casino less than a year.

"The only other large jackpot was on New Year's Day 1996. That machine, Megabucks, paid out over $1 million."

Betting a minimum of 75 cents each time, Cuccurullo was successful in lining up the reels for the big payoff. Once the MegaJackpot has been awarded, the system resets to the initial jackpot amount of $200,000.

Lisa Usera, a spokesperson for International Game Technology (IGT) and its distributor, Sodak Gaming, Inc. of Rapid City, S.D., said the game the Phoenix woman played is one of five progressive games at the casino. Arizona Jeopardy! Megajackpot is part of a system that allows players at participating casinos to contribute to a central jackpot.

Since December 1995, the Mazatzal Casino has awarded more than $2 million in MegaJackpots. The four other IGT progressive games at the casino are Megabucks, Wheel of Fortune (in $1 and 25 cent denominations) and Quartermania.

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