“I was overwhelmed and in shock,” said winner Alexander Degenhardt, 26. “I didn’t know what to do.”
Degenhardt and a Marine buddy had decided to have some fun when they got a break from training at nearby Nellis Air Force Base, so they headed to the Las Vegas Strip. It was Degenhardt’s first time in Las Vegas.
“I figured I’d just go lose $100 real quick,” he said. Degenhardt prefers playing slots and was drawn to Money Vault because of the massive progressive jackpot.
He says he popped in $100 and after playing the one-cent denomination machine for about 10 minutes, he was up $90. Then he hit the life-changing jackpot. But he didn’t understand what had happened.
“Dude, what does that mean?” he asked his friend.
His response to realizing his good fortune: “Cool!”
Degenhardt said he plans to continue his career with the Marines, despite already getting some extra attention from fellow soldiers. He’ll first use his winnings to help his mother and pregnant sister pay off bills and prepare for the new baby. He also said he’ll likely replace the car he’s been driving, since it has 250,000 miles on it.
The Millionaire Sevens wide-area progressive features a top award that starts out at $1 million and increases the more the games is played.