A Nashua, N.H., man was forced to give back the cash and the first-place trophy after Foxwoods Resort Casino officials informed him there had been an error in calculations.
Eric Nuernberg tasted victory.
He had just a half an hour to savor moment and his $50,000 winnings.
The 36-year-old Nashua, N.H., man was forced to give back the cash and the first-place trophy after Foxwoods Resort Casino officials informed him there had been an error in calculations.
It’s not what Nuernberg wanted to hear.
“Is that a fair deal?” he asked from his hotel room at the casino Monday. “I was shocked.”
He was one of several hundred people participating in a two-day slot machine invitational tournament. Players play two rounds, 15 minutes each, on promotional slot machines. The player with the highest cumulative point total takes home the top prize.
“They took my picture. I got a trophy. They even interviewed me about what I was going to do with the money. I said I was going to take my wife to Disney,” he said.
Foxwoods spokesman Saverio Mancini explained the mix-up, pointing to a combination of employee and computer error with the scoring.
Nuernberg, it seems, was somehow allowed to play extra time on the machines.
Mancini said it was in effect an extra round which pushed his total well above others. Despite the fact the tickets taken from the machines were to be verified after each round, the computer totaled more than two rounds, he said.
Other tournament players came forward suspicious at the high score of 36,919 when the next highest was more than 6,000 points less.
“It seemed odd,” Mancini said. “It brought up a red flag. We explained the situation. The computer pulled numbers that probably shouldn’t never have been pulled.”
When the extra turns were taken away and this two rounds totaled, Nuernberg would not have made the top 20 or even receive a prize at all. Mancini said there was never any indication there was cheating involved.
Stunned at the news, Nuernberg said he was forced to accept a $500 consolation prize and tickets for four to a casino restaurant — he doesn’t remember which one.
“It’s like giving a kid an ice cream cone and taking it right out of their hands,” Nuernberg said. “The bottom line is they gave me $50,000 cash. There should be something coming to me.”
Nuernberg said he has gambled at the casino for a decade and has gambled $111,000 since January.
He said he does not plan a return trip anytime soon.
Reach Greg Smith of the Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin at 860-425-4219 or firstname.lastname@example.org.