Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Train to Denver Trip: Days 8 and 9 - Reno

Monday -
After a good night's sleep, we were up early to get ready for our arrival in Reno.  We arrived on time and by 8:30 AM we had our luggage and were on our way to Harrah's Hotel, which is right next to the train station.  Since we arrived so early, we expected to have to wait until afternoon to get into our room, but much to our surprise, our room was ready.  When we got our room we had our next big surprise, we had a one bedroom suite on the 21st floor with a great view of Reno.

Val had called our Harrah's host, Gordon, to set up our reservations for our stay in Reno and told him this was a surprise trip for my retirement.  He really came through and surprised us both with the nice suite accommodation.  And best of all, it was all comped, no cost to us.  Can't beat that.

We spent the day relaxing and walking around Reno.  That evening we spent some time gambling with little success, but did enjoy ourselves.

Tuesday -
Tuesday morning we enjoyed being able to sleep in after several days of having to get up early.  We decided to go down to the casino and do some more gambling as there was a promotion where you could earn Chevron gift cards depending on how much you gambled.  We were having a pretty good morning, actually winning a little, when we saw one of those big slot machines with a seat made for two people and we decided to pool some money and give it a try.  It was a dollar machine costing $5 a spin.  We each put in $20 and started to play not really expecting much, but with only $10 left we did our second to last spin  of the wheel and a miracle happened.  The first reel came up a "Double" symbol, then the second reel came up a "Double" symbol.  The final reel was still spinning and we were hoping for it to land on any symbol giving us a nice win, but what came up stunned us and we looked at each other in disbelief - the third "Double" symbol came up which meant we had won the progressive jackpot of $12,061!!!  We couldn't believe it actually happened and we just sat there looking at each other.  Soon, two attendants came up and verified the win and it finally sunk in that we really had won the big jackpot.  It took about a half hour for them to generate a check for us, but we didn't really care.  Here are some pictures of our big win.
Val enjoying our big win.
Val and I enjoying the moment.  By the time this photo was taken the jackpot had already been reset by the casino attendant back to it's $10,000 starting point for the next lucky winner.  Since this is a progressive machine it starts at $10,000 and slowly adds pennies to the jackpot amount until someone wins it again.
Just in case anyone thinks we are telling a tall tale, here is the actual check.  If you look closely you can see it's made out for $12,000 and is issued by Harrah's.
Quite a day - for the rest of the day we just kept looking at each other and shaking our heads in disbelief.  The remainder of the day was somewhat anti-climatic, but we did continue to gamble a little and actually got one of the gas gift cards.  It was an early night again as we had to get up early to catch the train and complete the final leg of our train trip.

This trip has been unbelievable, the great time on the train, our wonderful hotel rooms, the fun we had in Denver and now a huge jackpot win for us.  Val is going to have a hard time topping this, but she is always full of surprises.

Val speaking here...  Yep, it was a pretty incredible moment when we saw the final "Double" symbol fall into place.  It's hard to describe how fast my mind was going at that point.  At first I thought we had won $2,000 because the sign at the top of the machine showed three Double symbols and then $2,000.  However, the small print on top of that said if it was on the 5th line, you win the big progressive jackpot.  Dave said, "We won the big jackpot!", and I thought, no, that can't be.  I kept looking to see if I could find something to prove to him that we hadn't won "the big one", but in looking at the top of the machine my mind finally had to admit that we had in fact won a huge jackpot. This all happened in a matter of one or two seconds.  What a mind rush!

One of the best parts of the whole experience was that the machine we were playing on was built to accommodate two people sitting together, and the fact we had both contributed $20 meant that it was truly a combined effort and didn't belong to either of us, but to both of us.  Makes it all the better.  A-MAZ-ING!

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