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Idaho’s Clearwater River casino gambler wins record $1.5 million

Posted: July 24, 2022, 11:48 a.m.

Last update: July 24, 2022, 11:48 a.m.

One lucky winner has won over $1.5 million at Clearwater River Casino & Lodge. This is the biggest jackpot ever at the Lewiston, Idaho gambling property.

Idaho's Clearwater River Casino & Lodge
Idaho’s Clearwater River Casino & Lodge, pictured above. A woman won more than $1.5 million in tribal game ownership last week. (Image: Visit North Central Idaho)

Lewiston’s Linda Jorgensen won $1,541,533.11 on Thursday, the casino announced in a Facebook post.

Jorgensen hit the jackpot on a Wheel of Fortune Cash Link video game machine (VGM). She had bet $4.50.

We’re thrilled to see one of our customers win such a sum,” Dan Kane, the casino’s general manager, said in the post. “Several years ago we had a winner for over $600,000, but that million dollar win is considered a life-changing amount.”

Wheel of Fortune is manufactured by International Game Technology (IGT). It is a Wide Area Progressive, electronically linked to other game properties.

On Friday, IGT sent a technician to Clearwater Casino to verify the payout. The maximum jackpot has been set at $500,000.

Lewiston is 267 miles north of Boise, Idaho. Clearwater Casino is owned and operated by the Nez Perce Tribe. The tribe also owns and operates It’se Ye-Ye Casino in Kamiah, Idaho.

IGT Millionaires

From January, Wheel of Fortune slot machines have created over 1,100 millionaires and awarded over $3.3 billion in jackpots since 1996.

IGT claims its popular title made two more gamer millionaires in March. A Wheel of Fortune The Bellagio’s Triple Gold terminal in Las Vegas cost $1.48 million. A Wheel of Fortune Triple Red Hot 7s cost over $1.31 million at the California Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas.

Across the country at Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort in Connecticut, another lucky player won $3.8 million on April 4. The Connecticut Tribal Station said the jackpot was the biggest Wheel of Fortune slot machine at Uncasville property in nearly 20 years.

A player won over $1.3 million on a slot machine at the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino on June 2. The historic Fremont Street gambling site is located in downtown Las Vegas.

The jackpot was $1,342,414.70. It was won on a Wheel of Fortune slot machine too.

Another player hit big, also on a Wheel of Fortune slot machine. It was at the D Hotel and Casino, also in downtown Las Vegas. The D reported that the slot player hit over a $1.4 million jackpot on May 4.

Wildfire temporarily closes the casino

Last week, an express fire near the Clearwater River casino was 100% contained on Tuesday, Nez Perce County emergency management officials said.

The casino was forced to close temporarily, as were portions of Highway 95, according to Big Country News, a regional information site. The fire broke out last Sunday. As of Monday evening, the wildfire was about 70% contained. It was about 2,000 acres.

The U.S. Forest Service helped fight the blaze with fixed-wing, fire-retardant tankers. Helicopters with buckets of water also responded. A crew of four smokers also jumped on the fire, with crews on helicopters.

Nine drivers from state, regional, tribal and local departments also responded. The Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association sent a bulldozer.