Woman sues casino after they swap $56m win for a steak

Kristine Tarbert

Imagine thinking you’ve won an amount so big your entire life as you know it would change – and then being told ‘sorry you didn’t win’.

That’s exactly what happened to US woman Katrina Bookman, who thought she’d hit an enormous jackpot at a New York casino last year.

When she went to collect her winnings, casino staff told her that the machine had malfunctioned and she was left empty handed.

Katrina thought her life would change. Photo: CNN

The whole experience left the mum-of-four feeling ‘insulted’ and ‘robbed’.

So she’s now allegedly suing the Resorts World Casino in Queens.

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"All I could think about was my family," Katrina, who grew up in foster care, told CNN.

Thinking she’d won a record-breaking $42,949,672.76 ($56m AUD) she snapped a celebratory selfie while the ticket was printing.

She snapped a celebratory selfie. Photo: Facebook

However when she went to hand in the ticket, she was then instead allegedly escorted from the premises.

And to top it all off, Katrina says she was contacted the next day and told she would be given $2.25 ($3 AUD) and a steak dinner on the house.

Her attorney, Alan Ripka, has since been fighting for the casino to pay up. They have now filed a lawsuit and are seeking the jackpot total in damages - the maximum amount allowed by the Sphinx slot machine is $6,500 ($8500 AUD).

The gaming commission has confirmed the machine malfunctioned. Photo: Getty

“You can’t claim a machine is broken because you want it to be broken. Does that mean it wasn’t inspected? Does it mean it wasn’t maintained?,” he told CNN.

Since the incident was made public the New York State Gaming Commission confirmed the machine had malfunctioned and pointed out the disclaimer ‘Malfunctions void all pays and plays’.

The commission said that by law they can only award Katrina her actual winnings of $3, printed by the machine.

That’s a far cry from the millions of dollars she thought she’d won.

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