Every online casino has a good selection of games for its players. Some of them have games that come with a huge payout, running into millions of dollars. These are the progressive jackpots, and casinos feature them prominently in their marketing material because of the payout attached to them. Play and win one of them and you could be a million dollars richer!
Progressive jackpots are usually slots with a jackpot attached to them – of course there are other games too that come with progressive jackpots, including blackjack, video poker, Caribbean Stud, and poker. The jackpot is progressive, i.e. it keeps growing until a lucky player hits it for a life-changing win. The fact that they grow to mammoth proportions is a major reason for the popularity of these jackpots. They are difficult to hit, of course, but then that is the lure: every player wants to be the one that wins a million dollars on a progressive jackpot. And you do not even have to bet big to win; a nominal bet in the jackpot rounds could fetch you a multi-million dollar reward.
Best Progressive Jackpot Casinos
Here are the best progressive jackpot casinos for your country.
How a Progressive Jackpot Works
You may be wondering how a progressive jackpot works; how it builds up to those epic proportions. The way the build-up happens is simple: from every wager that a player places on that game, a percentage of the wager is added to the jackpot amount. So the more the game is played the more the jackpot grows. And the larger the network across which the game is linked the faster it grows, at an almost explosive pace at times.
There is also an amount that the house contributes to the jackpot; this is the seed value of the jackpot. Whatever the player contributes is added to the seed value. Some progressive jackpots have a huge seed value; the Mega Moolah jackpot is a classic example, with a seed value of a million dollars.
Hitting the Progressive Jackpot – What are the Odds?
One thing to keep in mind – because of the huge reward attached to them, progressive jackpots usually come with low payout percentages. The low payout is because of the hit frequency attached to progressive games. The hit frequency is the frequency with which a machine lands a winning combination. So it is logical to assume that the higher the jackpot amount the lower the hit frequency. You have to play with the right plan if you are looking to score off one of these, else it could just wipe out your bankroll.
Another thing to keep in mind is Gambler’s Fallacy: the reasoning that the likelihood of an event occurring increases as the time since the last time the event occurred increases. This is a myth when it comes to progressive jackpots: When it comes to winning one of them, time and therefore size doesn’t matter – you can win it at any given moment regardless of whether it is a few hundred thousand dollars or a few million. So a jackpot that was hit one day could be hit again a couple of days later, however unlike that probability may be. There have been instances when a progressive was hit over consecutive weeks, though the standard average time frame for a progressive to be hit is anywhere between 3 to 6 months.
Types of Progressive Jackpots
Standalone Progressive Jackpots
These are jackpots that are found on a single machine in a casino, as the name suggests. They are not connected to other machines at the casino or across casinos. The payout for these machines is therefore smaller compared to the other two types. The logic behind that is simple: it takes more time for the jackpot to build up. Of course there are standalone jackpots that have delivered significantly high payouts at land-based casinos. They are the original progressive jackpots.
Network Progressive Jackpots
As the name suggests, these are progressive jackpots that are connected across a network of online casinos across the world, all powered by the same software provider. That is why they are also referred to as wide area progressives. Any player who plays at any of these casinos will contribute a portion of his wager to the jackpot. That is the main reason why these jackpots grow very big very fast. Some of the classic network progressive jackpots are NetEnt’ Mega Fortune and Microgaming’s Mega Moolah.
Top Software Providers Offering Progressive Jackpots
Every major online casino software provider has in its gaming portfolio a range of exciting progressive jackpots. The veterans of course outgun the rest when it comes to jackpot size and credibility. We list below for you the different software providers and the number of jackpots they offer.
There are a number of progressive jackpots available from most of the top providers. The following table lists the software providers, the number of progressives they offer and also their most popular games.
|Software||Progressive Jackpots||Most Popular||Play|
|Microgaming||40+||Mega Moolah *||Play at All Slots Casino read review|
|Playtech||20+||Jackpot Giant||Play at Casino.com read review|
|BetSoft Gaming||15+||Greedy Goblins|
|IGT||43||Wheel of Fortune|
|Blueprint Gaming||10||Jackpot King|
* Not Available in South Africa
Popular Progressive Jackpots – The Big Three
As you can see from the above table there are a large number of progressive jackpots on offer from some of the top software providers in the industry. While IGT and Microgaming are far ahead of the rest in terms of the number of jackpots they have, Microgaming is the better known of the two when it comes to range and quality of jackpots for online and mobile casinos.
There are three jackpots that are considered the big three, in the sense that the most number of million dollar-plus hits have been on these three games. And it is only natural that the leader is one from Microgaming. The three most popular progressive jackpots are:
- Mega Moolah
- Mega Fortune
- Hall of Gods
Mega Moolah is considered the mother of all progressive jackpots, and with very good reason: it holds the world record for the highest payout ever. On 6th October 2015, Jon Heywood, a British soldier, took home a mammoth €17,880,900 (£13,213,838 or $20,066,800) when playing this slot at Betway casino, catapulting both Mega Moolah and Jon into the Guinness Book of World Records.
Mega Moolah comes with 5 reels and 25 paylines and is available in both instant play as well as download modes – the download option is for Windows users only. The game is themed on Africa and the jackpot round has a Wheel of Fortune style jackpot round that has within it 4 progressive jackpots:
This slot is also called the Millionaire Maker, because its seed value itself is $1 million, contributed and guaranteed by Microgaming. Besides the world record win, there are other big wins too with Mega Moolah for NZ$10 million, €7.9 million, and CAD$7.5 million. Mega Moolah also currently holds the world record for the largest payment from playing on a mobile device: $9.2 million at the Tipico mobile casino
The most recent big wins with Mega Moolah were:
- €7.7 million on 25th September, 2017
- €1.4 million on 1st October, 2017
NetEnt is a leading software provider for the online and mobile casino and one of its biggest progressive jackpots is the Mega Fortune slot. The game has 5 reels and 25 paylines that comes with wild symbols, scatter symbols, a free spins bonus round, and a jackpot bonus game with 3 jackpots in it:
- Rapid Jackpot
- Major Jackpot
- Mega Jackpot
The game is themed on fortune, as the name indicates, and this is another massive jackpot that held the world record for the highest online jackpot win before the Mega Moolah win by Jon Heywood - €17,861,800 won by a man from Finland. In September 2011, a player from Norway won €11,736,375 on this NetEnt progressive.
Hall of Gods
Another popular NetEnt progressive slot that has made quite a few people richer by a few million is Hall of Gods. This is a game with a Nordic theme with symbols using different elements from that theme and time, including dragons and Gods like Freya, Loki, Thor, and Odin. The game has 5 reels and 20 paylines with bets ranging from $0.20 to $50 per spin. Other features include an expanding wild, the Meet the Midgard Serpent wild, and the free spins bonus round.
You get a shot at the jackpot round if you land the pick win feature. There are 3 jackpots available:
- Mini Jackpot
- Midi Jackpot
- Mega Jackpot
The Mega jackpot is the one that gives you the massive million-plus dollar wins. There have been a large number of million-dollar wins on this slot. The average million-dollar payout for this game is a cool €5.5 million. Some of the big wins with this slot are:
- €7.8 million by an anonymous player on 18th April, 2015.
- €7.6 million by a Swedish woman at Unibet casino in November 2012.
The Biggest Progressive Jackpot Payouts in Online Gambling History
There are a significant number of players who have made their millions winning one of the numerous progressive jackpots on offer at the different online and mobile casinos. The following table lists 10 of the biggest online progressive jackpot wins ever:
|Jackpot Won||Progressive Jackpot||Date||Player/Country||Casino|
|€17.80 million||Mega Moolah||6th October, 2015||UK||Betway Casino|
|€17.86 million||Mega Fortune||January 2013||Finland||PAF Casino|
|€11.73 million||Mega Fortune||September 2011||Norway||Betsson.com|
|$11.63 million||Mega Moolah||November 2016||Canada||Yako Casino|
|AUS$10.42 million||The Dark Knight||April 2016||Australia||Spin Palace Casino|
|€8.57 million||Mega Fortune Touch||November 2015||Sweden||Folkenautomaten Casino|
|€7.96 million||Mega Moolah Mobile||August 2016||UK||Zodiac Casino|
|€7.82 million||Hall of Gods||April 2015||Not available||Betsson.com|
|€7.7 million||Mega Moolah||25th September, 2015||Not available||Unibet Casino|
|$8.6 million||Mega Moolah||June 2017||Norway||Folkenautomaten Casino|
Progressive Jackpots and the Payment Guarantees
Progressive jackpots yield millions of dollars in wins, changing the life of the players that win them. One question that will definitely pop up in your head is whether this whole thing is for real – would you actually get paid a million dollars if you won that amount?
Given that the casinos offering these jackpots are reputed brands using top quality software – which in itself is a guarantee of quality because the reputed software providers are particular about the credibility of the casino brand they are servicing – the answer is yes, you would get paid. But if you drill down one level lower you will see that the answer to the above question is also dependent on 2 other equally important factors when it comes to how soon you are likely to get paid and how much – would it be all at once or in instalments? These two factors are:
- The casino’s progressive jackpot policy: It is important to carefully read through the policy that a casino offering progressive jackpots has when it comes to withdrawals. Every online casino will have a maximum withdrawal limit per day or week; however, this condition does not apply to progressive jackpot win withdrawals at the top online casinos. We bring to you the top progressive jackpot casinos and each of them pays out progressive jackpot winnings in full at one shot.
- The qualifying amount: A number of casinos require you to bet a certain amount – usually the maximum bet – to qualify for the progressive jackpot. However, this does not apply at all casinos; the best thing to do is read the entire terms and conditions carefully before playing.
How much you finally get as winnings from a progressive jackpot also depend on other factors like:
- Jackpot seed value: Some casinos follow the policy of deducting a certain amount from the total jackpot won towards resetting of the seed value of the jackpot. In such a situation you get the entire amount due minus the deducted percentage towards the seed amount.
- Mode of payment opted for: How much you get at a time depends on the mode of payment you opt for. You will likely get the entire money if you opt for a lump sum payment. The other option is to get it in instalments over a fixed time period.
- Taxes to be paid for the winnings: A certain amount from the winnings will be deducted towards payment of taxes on winnings accrued.
- Documents provided: The casino may retain a portion of your winnings if you do not provide them important details about yourself, including the SSN and other documents to support proof of identity.
Handy Progressive Jackpot Tips
Progressive jackpots are mostly games of chance; therefore strategy and methodology will usually not work. At worst, you can consider a progressive jackpot a long shot: if you win it changes your life and if you don’t, well life goes on. Therefore you do not find much by way of tips for playing progressive jackpot games. There are a couple of things you could do to improve, however.
- Study the game thoroughly. Knowing details like hit frequency, casino reputation, need for a qualifying amount, and other relevant details can have a direct impact on your game.
- Ensure that the game you are playing is a network progressive and not a standalone jackpot, if you are looking to make your million bucks.
A Few Progressive Jackpot FAQs
Here are a few FAQs related to progressive jackpots.
Progressive jackpots are great to play because of the features available and the chance to win a huge payout. But from a technical point of view they may not be the best games to play because of the extremely tough odds of winning. The odds are better for flat-top games. You can actually work out the odds using math and by taking into consideration different factors including:
- Number of reels
- Number of symbols on the reels
- Jackpot payout trigger mechanism
Progressive jackpots are offered usually by reputed casino operators and it is in the interest of their credibility to ensure winnings are paid out. Talking of whether a jackpot will ever result in a win, of course it will because that is how the algorithm is written; winning is one of the probabilities factored in.
The maximum bet requirement is in operation in most online casinos; in some games, the low stakes play switches off the jackpot element. However, many casinos also have debunked the max bet as prerequisite for progressive theory: there are casinos where players have won millions on a 50c bet. The max bet option increases greatly the chances of reaching the jackpot round; it doesn’t increase the chances of winning. It is a good idea to go through the terms and conditions of the casino to figure out how the max bet option works for a progressive jackpot you are interested in.
If you do get disconnected there is no problem; you find yourself at the exact same spot you were in when the disconnection happened once the connection is back up.
The cheapest progressives are the penny slot progressives, you know, games like Octopays and Disco Spins. Some of the biggest progressives are:
- Mega Moolah (Microgaming)
- Mega Fortune (NetEnt)
- Mega Fortune Dreams (NetEnt)
- Aztecs Millions (Real Time Gaming)
- Jackpot Giant (Playtech)
- Millionaire Genie (888 Gaming)
In most casinos, the bonuses can be used to play progressive jackpots. Of course you will need to fulfil the wagering requirements. Some casinos, however, do not allow you to use bonuses for this purpose. The best option is to check with the casino’s support team before trying out.