LAS VEGAS - Johanna Heundl, a 74-year-old retired printer from Covina, Calif., won the Megabucks® jackpot of $22,618,156.67 today at Bally's Las Vegas. This is the third largest slot jackpot in history, and the first Megabucks jackpot to be awarded at Bally's Las Vegas, although it is the 57th Megabucks jackpot awarded by IGT since the progressive jackpot originated in 1986.

On her way to breakfast, Heundl stopped in the casino to play, first on $2 machines and then on the three-reel, $1 Megabucks progressive carousel. She decided to invest $100 before breakfast, but when that was gone, she considered going to breakfast, but shrugged her shoulders and decided to invest a second $100 bill.

"I almost left the machine-can you imagine?" she laughed. She still had $23 in the machine when the three Megabucks symbols lined up on the center line at 10:14 a.m., bringing her the primary jackpot and a secondary jackpot of $3,073.07.

"I looked away," Heundl said. "When I looked back, the jackpot was there. But I didn't realize I won the $22 million. I thought it was $22,000. And then people started to gather around me. I have no idea who that man was that kissed me!" (It was a nearby Megabucks player who realized she had won.) Megabucks normally is paid in 25 annual installments, and Heundl received a check today for $907,799.33. She has decided to exercise the option for one lump-sum payment of the jackpot, but the exact amount will depend on prevailing interest rates.

A frequent visitor to Las Vegas, Heundl is a loyal Bally's customer. "I'm celebrating my birthday, which was May 17. Bally's sent me an invitation to stay two nights and three days, and gave me $100 to play with as a birthday present. I love Bally's," she smiled. Even after this win, I'll still come to Bally's. There are no kids running around!"

Born in Vienna, Austria, Heundl came to the United States in November 1956 with her husband and only what they could carry in a suitcase. They were unable to speak English then. Now a window, she still lives in the home they bought together in 1957.

When asked what she would do with the money, Heundl replied, "I'm not sure. I just bought a new car. It's not even delivered yet. I have a house. I could remodel, or maybe buy a new house. I will go to Europe to see my family." Heundl has two brothers and two sisters still living in Austria.

Vice President of Slot Operations Ken Geiger presented the winner with her souvenir check and a Bally's jacket at the winning machine. The progressive jackpot was reset to $7 million and began growing immediately.

Only the world record $34.9 million won at The Desert Inn in January 2000 and $27.5 million won at Palace Station in November 1998 are larger than this Megabucks® jackpot. IGT, which developed and operates Megabucks® and 19 other MegaJackpots systems in Nevada, has paid out $382 million to Megabucks® winners in the state since 1986.

Bally's is one of Las Vegas' most elegant and exciting resorts, offering guests a "real, live, Las Vegas experience." The resort features two 26-story hotel towers, offering 2,814 guest rooms, including 265 suites, 70,000 square feet of casino space, 11 distinctive restaurants, 180,000 square feet of convention and meeting space, and 22 unique retail stores in a contemporary-style setting. Bally's is home to one of Las Vegas' most exciting and longest-running production shows, Donn Arden's "Jubilee!"

Bally's Las Vegas is operated by Park Place Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: PPE), the world's largest gaming company. Park Place Entertainment owns, manages or has an interest in 28 gaming properties around the world that operate under the Bally's, Caesars, Flamingo, Grand Casinos, Hilton and Paris brands with a total of two million square feet of gaming space, more than 28,000 hotel rooms and 55,000 employees.

IGT is the world leader in the manufacturing of gaming machines and proprietary software for progressive gaming systems. All IGT MegaJackpots are paid in annual installments upon verification, except Regis' Cash Club, $1,000,000 Pyramid, Elvis®, The Addams Family, Party Time, and video Jeopardy!® which are paid in their entirety upon verification. For more information on IGT, visit the company web site at