Progressive jackpot slot are a little different from your standard slot game. While a standard slot will payout when a certain combination of symbols appears on the payline, those jackpots are generally fixed.
Progressive jackpot slots also have fixed payouts, but they have a unique feature. You see, every time you place a bet and spin the reels, a portion of your bet goes into a separate pot. This side pot is known as the progressive jackpot and it keeps growing until someone wins it by spinning the right combination of symbols.
Kinds of Progressive Slots
There are basically two types of progressive slot games. With stand-alone progressive slot games, each machine builds and releases its own jackpot independently. Two stand-alone progressive slots sitting side-by-side will each have its own progressive jackpot. The size of these will typically differ and they will be triggered at different times.
Then there are wide-area progressive jackpots. This means that multiple slots are linked together on a network. The network could have a handful of progressive slots linked together, or the network could consist of thousands of slots. If you have thousands of people contributing to a single progressive jackpot, then that jackpot can get very big in a short period of time. How big? Well, some of the largest online casino progressive jackpots have been worth over $20 million.
We should also mention that a lot of online casinos offer what they call “Must Drop” progressive jackpots. This simply means that with these prizes it is guaranteed to pay out within a certain time frame. For instance, a Daily Drop jackpot game will payout within a 24-hour period while a Weekly Drop jackpot will drop within seven days. Obviously, these prizes don’t get nearly as large as those that build over the course of several weeks, months, or even years.
What Happens When you Win a Progressive Jackpot?
To fully understand what happens after you win this type of prize, you must understand a bit of what goes on before you win it. To start with, progressive jackpots don’t usually start from scratch. Instead, the developer and/or casino operator funds the minimum guaranteed jackpot amount. This can be as little as a few dollars or, in some cases, as much as a million dollars. The jackpot then builds as each player contributes to it.
If you win a progressive jackpot at your online casino, the winnings are usually immediately credited to your player account. If it is a multi-million dollar win, there’s a good chance that you’ll get paid out in installments. There’s also a good chance you will be required to pose for a picture holding one of those oversized novelty checks.
After the progressive pot is won, the jackpot is once again seeded and the process repeats itself.
Five Popular Progressive Jackpot Slots
There are several massive progressive jackpots building at this very moment. Then it stands to reason that you want to know which progressive slots dish out the biggest jackpots.
- Major Millions
Major Millions is one of Microgaming’s most popular games. In addition to routinely offering a jackpot in excess of a million dollars, players are attracted to the game because of its sheer simplicity. It also has a relatively low max bet of just $3. It has just three reels and three paylines. All you need to do to strike it rich is have three Major Millions wilds show up on the center reels.
It is initially seeded with $250,000, but it grows quickly because it’s such a popular and widely available game. Since its release in 2008, Major Millions has unleashed its progressive jackpot over 50 times. On average, someone hits a $565,000 jackpot every seven weeks. The largest Major Millions jackpot won to date was a little over $1.8 million while the smallest chimed in at $252,000.
- Mega Fortune
Mega Fortune is one of NetEnt’s biggest successes. The game features five reels, three rows, and 25 paylines along with a player-friendly 96.6% RTP. NetEnt released Mega Fortune in 2009. Four years later, in 2013, a lucky player set a new Guinness World Record by taking down a progressive jackpot worth €17.8 million. That win still ranks in the top 10 biggest progressive jackpots won at an online casino.
International Game Technology has created several high-payout slots. However, MegaJackpots is their most famous. The MegaJackpots progressive prize starts at $500,000. Surprisingly, it has paid out no fewer than 33 times since it was launched in 2019.
- Aztec Millions
Real Time Gaming, or RTG is one of the world’s biggest casino software providers and their games are featured at countless online casinos all over the planet. One of their most popular titles is Aztec Millions which is a five-reel progressive slot with 25 paylines and a 95% RTP.
One strange thing about this game is that it has been around since 2009 and it has only paid out a single progressive jackpot win. That only recently happened in 2021.
- Mega Moolah
This Microgaming classic was released way back in 2006 and it has made many people instant millionaires. In fact, it has produced several jackpots worth over $10 million. In 2018, it paid out a record-breaking jackpot worth close to €19 million. Then, on April 27, 2021, it set a new record when it paid out a whopping €19.4 million. As of this writing, Mega Moolah is responsible for paying out seven of the top 10 and 14 of the top 20 largest progressive jackpots ever won at online casinos.
If you’ve ever wondered why software providers like Microgaming, NetEnt, and IGT are so popular, part of the answer can be found in the fact that their games produce the biggest progressive jackpots available. If you want to go after an incredibly huge payday, you should consider playing at an online casino. Sure, the odds of winning are staggeringly long, but a lot of lucky people have overcome those odds. Maybe you can too.