A Michigan man who indulged in some gambling after traveling to Mississippi to attend a friend’s funeral won a $7.2 million jackpot from a “Lord of the Rings”-themed penny-slot machine on Friday.
Tyler Morris of Montague, Mich., was in town for a grim occasion, mourning the death of a friend, when he stopped into Biloxi’s Palace Casino for a bit of diversion. Morris told the Sun Herald that he usually frequents the craps table but decided to play the penny-slot machines, because those had been a favorite of his friend.
That decision proved to be very fortuitous at around 10:30 p.m., when Morris hit the jackpot. A PR manager for the Casino, Lisa Quirch, told the publication that Morris attributed the huge earnings to his friend.
"Tyler said he felt his friend was watching over him and had blessed him with the big win,” Quirch said.
Quirch confirmed that his total winnings amounted to $7,217,175.15.
As for what he’ll do with his newfound earnings, Morris’ wife, Mary, said that their first order of business is to pay off a new car they purchased earlier in the week to make the journey to Mississippi. The couple also plans to repair the roof of their weathervane manufacturing business and put some away for their children, granddaughter and a second grandchild who has yet to be born.
The penny-slot machine used by Morris was “The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship,” which accepts a maximum bet of $3.50. The jackpot will automatically reset at $200,000.