Maryland resident hits casino jackpot

James E. Dobson, of Maryland, won the $143,723 jackpot at Empire City Casino on May 27. Photo courtesy

James E. Dobson and his good friend Donzella Parker Bert made a four-hour bus trip from Stevensville, Maryland, to New York to visit Thelma Sligh, Bert’s aunt, to celebrate her 89th birthday over Memorial Day weekend. There was even greater merriment than anticipated when
Dobson hit a $143,723 jackpot at Empire City Casino in Yonkers on May 27.
“We hadn’t seen Aunt Thelma [Sligh] in three or four years, so we took the bus to New York, not wanting to deal with the holiday traffic,” Dobson explained.
He said Sligh lives in Harlem and, “She wanted to go to the casino.” She and Bert share the same birthday, May 28.
“It only took two spins,” said Bert, an avid casino-goer, who visits Delaware Park, the Horseshoe in Baltimore, and Dover Downs casinos.  “I usually play the slots, for $5 to $10 spins, but this was the biggest jackpot I [have] ever hit.” As is customary, Dobson made a $10 wager on a $5 denomination machine, this time on the wildly popular Wheel of Fortune slot in the Gotham Palace for the big payday at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
“We’ll be back,”  he vows.
Dobson, 76, is a retired welder, having spent 45 years at Grumman. He said that he was
“Alone when I hit the jackpot. When they got back, they were so happy to see me win.”
He reports that he gave them “A birthday present,” sharing part of the winnings, which he plans to invest. “I have scheduled a meeting with my broker.”
When not playing the slots or visiting Slight, Dobson is an avid fisherman, “I live on Chesapeake bay,” he says. He also enjoys hunting and bowling, but the slots have now become his most lucrative hobby.
The Wheel of Fortune has been more than good to Empire City players from near and far. Just six days earlier, on May 21, James M. made a shorter trip from the Bronx to Yonkers, where he hit the jackpot of $149,931 at Empire City. The six-figure score was also made in the Gotham Palace on the Wheel of Fortune, just yards away from the slot machine where a New York State racetrack casino record $1,713,985 jackpot, as of May 30, is still waiting to be hit.
James M. made a $6 wager on a $1 denomination machine to score at 4:23 p.m.
The Empire City life-changer continues to soar. On May 9, it eclipsed $1.6 million for the first time in history.
This record-breaker is ripe again for winning and is only available on two Wheel of Fortune slots at Empire City Casino. Who will be the next Howard G.?



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