Playing $1,000 on a Slot Machine

Rob Cockerham posted the Incredibly Depressing Mega Millions Lottery Simulator a month ago, so you'd think he would be the type to avoid gambling. However, he won a costume contest for one of his over-the-top creations and the prize was $1,000 -in slot machine play! Therefore, win or lose, he sat down to play and report to us on the experience.
Thunder Valley has eight "100% payback" slots, which means that at the end of their life, they should have given out the same amount of money they took in. This group had some interesting features, the first was a bright sign on top, advertising "win up to 100% payback". What? What kind of deal is that? It sounds like the worst of both worlds, like you had no chance of going away a winner. I figured the sign was just not worded very well, that they wanted to say "100% payback", but that a sign which said that sounds like you are always going to win your money back.

The second feature was a small placard which stated "This game is not eligible for the Thunder Slot Fortune Bonus".

Ah ha! Maybe I'm a sucker, but to me, this sign says "the casino makes so little money on this machine, we can't let you have any other perks for sitting here". BINGO. This was the machine for me!

Try to guess how much he won with his $1,000 credit. Link

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I'm thinking they let him win to get some good publicity.

(Presumably the casinos should not be able to cheat like that, but a lot of things are not what they presumably should be. And I don't trust casinos. ;))
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If a gambler starts with a finite amount of money, say 1000 dollars. If the gambler were to play on a 100% payback machine forever then one would expect their balance to climb and fall randomly forever...the only catch is that the machine has a much larger reserve. If the gambler is up to 10000 dollars, the game still goes on, but if the gambler ever hits 0 dollars they are done and the casino keeps everything.

Most casino games have paybacks in the high 90s, and can approach 100% with skilled players.
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