A lucky Auckland poker player turned a $35 hand into more than a million dollars at SkyCity last night - winning one of the largest-ever progressive jackpot wins at a New Zealand casino.
The winner, who gaming staff said goes to the casino with her husband once every couple of months, hit the jackpot with a Royal Flush and was promptly handed a cheque for $1,108,585.60.
She placed a total of $35 on a single hand of Caribbean Stud Poker and was dealt a Royal Flush, the odds of which are 649,740 to one, winning the entire jackpot.
Group chief operating officer Michael Ahearne said casino staff were over the moon at the win.
"This is certainly a case of right place, right hand, as the progressive jackpot has not been this big for more than seven years.
"It's fantastic to see a SkyCity player walk away with such a win from a single hand," he said.
"The news of this win has staff buzzing and it's all they can talk about today.''
A casino supervisor said the poker table was full at the time and all the other players and staff were extremely excited for the winner, who seemed to be in shock after the winning hand was dealt.
"She gave a small amount of money to all the other players at her table, which was a lovely gesture,'' the supervisor said.
Caribbean Stud Poker is based on traditional 'stud' poker, where individuals are dealt one hand of five cards and play against the house to achieve a five-card poker hand higher than that of the dealer.
A player can also participate in a progressive jackpot bonus with a side bet. If that player is dealt a Royal Flush, the highest hand in Caribbean Stud Poker, they will win the whole jackpot.
The Caribbean Stud Poker progressive jackpot at SkyCity Auckland has now reset at $286,000.