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Comments about Found Money and Lost Slot Tickets

26 September 2009

By John Robison

The recent questions about found money and lost tickets generated many responses. Here are some of them.

I was just reading your article about found money in a casino. That has happened to me 3 times. The first time was in a casino in Rhode Island. Someone had left over $60 in credits in a video poker machine. Apparently they didn't know how to retrieve the money, so they walked away and left it. That is just a guess.

At Foxwoods Casino, they had changed some of the machines from coins to ticket in/ticket out. Someone had left about $30 in coins in a bucket and left.

A third was on a cruise ship. The same thing, this person left a bucket of coins between 2 machines.

These things happens more often than we realize.


I agree that proceeds from lost tickets could and should be turned donated to charity. I do however, seriously question how much money is actually turned over to charity via this method. I did see a basket/bin at Fitzgerald's in Tunica where patrons could drop the odd slot tickets for donation.


Tickets left in slot machines.

About a month ago my wife was playing a slot machine and decided we should go for supper. During supper she realized that she had left $225.05 in the machine. Of course when she went back it had been cashed out. We then started to play again when an employee tapped her on the shoulder, confirmed her name and handed her a ticket for $225.05. It had been spotted by surveillance.

This was at the Silver Reef Casino just off I5, a couple miles north of Bellingham, Wa. Needless to say it made for a good day after all.

I can let you know first hand that they do/can track ticket owners at Caesars in Atlantic City.

My wife cashed out from one machine and thought she put the ticket in a different machine. When the credits did not register immediately she thought she either put in the wrong ticket or dropped it and did not really put one in. She left the machine to check if she dropped it or left it in the last machine. She called security and a slot attendant. They were able to see the ticket's id number and time it was cashed out of the original machine. The time it was placed in the second machine and that someone hit the cash-out button seconds after it was placed in the second machine. Unfortunately it was not my wife that cashed out. Surveillance was able to see that a male cashed out the ticket when she stepped away. Unfortunately it was a hard lesson to learn (never leave your machine; she lost $179.00).

Just a small correction: This isn't an example of tracking rightful ticket owners. The casino tracked the ticket via its ID number and activity logs on machines. If the male had taken the ticket to the cage, would they have been able to say it belonged to your wife without reviewing surveillance tapes?

Playing at Seneca Allegheny I lost a ticket worth about $40. Not really sure if I had left it in the machine or dropped it, I just consider it a dumb whatever. About 30 minutes later while playing a machine a gentleman wearing a suit and a security guard approached me. I was asked did you lose a ticket? When I said I did, they asked for my ID, then gave me my ticket. The said a security guard found it wedged between some rails. When I offered to reward the guard, they said that was not necessary. I thanked them, but the next time I lost that ticket I knew exactly where it went.

Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots