Gambler takes $21 million jackpot
By CHRISTOPHER DORE in Macau
A MAINLAND tourist calmly walked away from a casino early yesterday morning despite winning more than $21 million in the enclave's largest slot machine jackpot.
Zhou Yongkang, tipped staff 10 per cent of his win before leaving the Hotel Lisboa casino without fanfare immediately after being handed the cheque and then 'vanished', casino officials said yesterday.
The jackpot, which had accumulated from $2 million over the past four months, had drawn many to Macau recently, including syndicates playing the $6 slot machines 24 hours a day in an effort to win the cash.
The previous largest win in the 200-machine Macau-wide jackpot pool was $13 million, which was taken at the Lisboa casino in February.
A spokesman for the casino, Kingsley Kong, said the 44-year-old Mr Zhou, believed to be travelling with his wife, appeared not to be part of a syndicate.
But the casino did not know how long he had been playing the one-arm bandits before the bell above machine 317 rang at 7.40 am after a row of four 7s appeared.
Mr Kong said Mr Zhou appeared surprised but was 'very calm and serious' despite the dimension of the $21,219,380 win and the large crowd of fellow gamblers that gathered around him once they realised what had happened.
'A huge crowd surrounded him, it was very scary for him I think - that's probably why he was so serious,' Mr Kong said.
The lucky man, believed to be from Jiangmen in Guangdong, was then ushered to offices, where he was handed the valuable cheque by casino authorities 30 minutes later.
Mr Kong said Mr Zhou, who did not talk to staff at length after the win, did not ask for an escort out of the casino but quietly walked out alone.