The Mechanics of a Mega Progressive Jackpot
Have you ever wondered how two similar slot machines, where the payouts on the base game are virtually the same, can have such vast differences between their jackpots?
A typical video slot game may have a jackpot of say 10,000 coins on a typical spin and 30,000 coins in the bonus game, but that pales into insignificance when you compare it to winning over £5 million, as one lucky person did recently on the Mega Moolah.
With that in mind, we will ask ourselves; what is the difference between a traditional slot and a progressive jackpot and how do these enormous jackpot balances grow into such enormous sums?
1. The key difference between a traditional slot and a progressive slot
The first major difference between a traditional online slot and a progressive slot game is not how the games play but in how the stake you pay on each spin is divided up. On a traditional video slot, every stake you make on each spin is divided into two different ways. The vast majority of your stake goes into the game's cash pot. This money is then collected by the game and paid out to those players who hit winning combinations on spins and whatnot.
A small proportion of your cash on a traditional slot is held back and paid to the online casino to ensure that on every spin they make a small (and it is very small) profit.
With a progressive slot, your cash is divided differently. The largest chunk of your wager on every spin goes into the games cash pot and also a small amount is taken by the casino in the form of their small vig. However, the critical point is that a further smaller amount of cash from your wager is added to another pot. This is the progressive jackpot.
What happens then is as the progressive jackpot game plays over time, the money in the cash pot gets added to and paid out very frequently. The casino make their small amount of money on every spin but the progressive jackpot amount keeps growing with every spin of the reel.
Every time a player plays the slot, the progressive jackpot grows and this is why some slot games can offer much, much larger jackpots than others, but it is not the only reason.
2. Exposure of the progressive slot
The second key reason why progressive slot game jackpots can grow so quickly is that hundreds of casinos can offer the same game, with the same progressive jackpot on their site.
Take Mega Moolah as a good example as this game can be accessed through many of the top Microgaming casinos across the world.
Now it doesn't matter if a player is playing Mega Moolah from home in Australia on one casino, and another is playing in the UK from a different casino. Both players are playing for and contributing to the same progressive jackpot from different casinos in different parts of the world.
With hundreds, even thousands of people playing these games every moment of every day, it is easy to see why that progressive jackpot amount keeps climbing and climbing with every second.
3. Multiple slots paying into the same pot
In the case of Mega Moolah, it is also the fact that there is not just one slot game paying into the Mega Moolah jackpot, but several.
The other games in the Mega Moolah series, such as Isis, 5 Reel Drive and Summertime, plus the Batman-themed The Dark Knight, are all standalone progressive slots that have their own cash pots and pay out individually, but all pay into the same single progressive jackpot account. Read the review here.
This means, you have five times the number of games paying into the one progressive account and you can win that jackpot playing any of the five games at any time, provided you hit the right combination.
4. The good news / Bad news
Progressive jackpot games appeal because of the vast amount of money that can be won playing them. Mega Moolah, for example, has paid out three jackpots in excess of $1 million in 2013 alone, with two jackpots of €3.3 million and £3.7 million (on mobile) paid within the space of five days in May alone.
However, that is unusual as although the jackpot can be won at any time, in order to ramp up the jackpot amount, the jackpot has to be achieved relatively infrequently.
For example, between April 2008 and May 2009, nobody won the jackpot, meaning when a man known as Georgios M from Greece won the jackpot, he took home an amazing €6.37 million.
The longer the gap between jackpots being won, then the more money a player is eventually likely to win, so while on the one hand, it is good that nobody has won a jackpot, the negative is that the chances of winning are kept necessarily low in order for the jackpot to grow.
However, people are more than happy to take their chances with this in the hope of following people like John Orchard, who won £5.88 million in December 2012, when he spun a 30p staked game and landed the Mega Moolah progressive jackpot playing the Dark Knight game.
And one final piece of advice, don't believe anybody who tells you that a progressive jackpot is "due" to be won, or "overdue". There is the same chance of winning the progressive on every spin, regardless of how long it is between previous wins. It is a 'randomly triggered' jackpot.
All in all, that is how progressive jackpots work and can grow and with Mega Moolah jackpots starting at at least €/£/$ 1 million every single time, it is easy to see why so many fans of online slots dream the dream that one day they'll be the one celebrating a huge, life-changing win.
Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.