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Wheel of Fortune(R) Progressive Jackpots Hit in Lake Charles.

LAKE CHARLES, La., July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Lake Charles has become the MegaJackpots(TM) hot spot in Louisiana. Since a Texas game warden won Louisiana's largest-ever progressive slot machine jackpot, $8.7 million, on June 25, two new MegaJackpots(TM) winners hit it big within hours of each other during an exciting July 4th weekend.

Juan Antonio Vargas, a 52-year-old mechanic from Laredo, TX won a $2,864,791.70 MegaJackpot(TM) at the Isle of Capri Casino yesterday at 1:46 p.m. while playing a Wheel of Fortune(R) quarter slot machine. Vargas had wagered only $16 before he became a big winner. Vargas plans to use the winnings to pay off debts and to take his family on vacation.

"This will help make life a lot more fun," Vargas said.

About two hours later at 3:50 p.m. at the Delta Downs Racetrack and Casino in Vinton, 33-year-old Steven Quinn of Louise, TX won a $1,311,447.57 MegaJackpot(TM) on a Wheel of Fortune(R) dollar machine. Quinn had never visited Delta Downs before and had looked specifically for a progressive slot machine. Quinn played $100 before winning his prize and was shocked when he realized he had won the big jackpot. Quinn says he will use some of his winnings to pay bills.

Quinn added he does not want the financial windfall "to change my life very much."

This is the second Wheel of Fortune(R) dollar machine jackpot in two weeks at Delta Downs. The three jackpots won in the Lake Charles area in the past two weeks total $12.8 million.

The Wheel of Fortune(R) progressive slot machine is based on the popular television game show, "Wheel of Fortune(R)." The jackpot is paid when a player plays the maximum bet -- $0.75 on a quarter machine or $3 on a dollar machine -- and lines up all three winning symbols on the appropriate pay line. After the jackpot is verified, the Wheel of Fortune(R) meter is reset at $200,000 for the quarter system and $1,000,000 for the dollar system. The winning Wheel of Fortune(R) machines are two of 11 Louisiana MegaJackpots(TM) systems operated by IGT, a world leader in the manufacturing of gaming machines and proprietary software for progressive gaming systems. All IGT MegaJackpots(TM) awards are paid in annual installments upon verification, except MegaJackpots(TM) Instant Winners(TM) jackpots and Rapid Riches MegaJackpots(TM) awards, which are paid in their entirety upon verification. Wheel of Fortune(R) is a registered trademark of Califon Production Inc. For more information on IGT, visit the company web site at http://www.igt.com/ .

CONTACT: Larry Lovell, cell, +1-504-442-0792, or Terri Kaupp, cell, +1-504-450-5848, both for IGT, +1-504-581-7191

Web site: http://www.igt.com/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1U7LA
Date:Jul 7, 2003
Words:466
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