One historical horse racing player at a Rosie’s Gaming Emporium is nearly a million dollars richer after winning the largest jackpot in HHR history.
Rosie’s officials recently announced a player at their Hampton, VA location hit a penny-machine jackpot for a whopping $914,533.90.
The Virginia General Assembly legalized HHR betting in 2018. A portion of revenue from the slot-like games supports Virginia’s once-thriving horse racing industry.
Virginia currently has five Rosie’s locations. The first Rosie’s gaming parlor opened in April 2019 at the Colonial Downs Racetrack in New Kent. The most recent location opened earlier this month in Dumfries.
In November alone, Rosie’s patrons wagered nearly $170 million. Despite the pandemic, Rosie’s business has remained brisk.
Then, on Jan. 12, Rosie’s awarded the largest jackpot in its history, as well as in HHR history.
About the historical horse racing jackpot
If you take a stroll through Rosie’s gallery of recent jackpot winners, something sticks out. Most of the jackpots are in the four-digit and five-digit range. The sweet spot seems to be $1,000 to $20,000.
Though rare, winners have scored some six-figure jackpots of $100,000 or more.
But this week’s $914,533.90 jackpot win is the biggest by far.
According to Rosie’s officials, the big winner wished to remain anonymous. (Virginia Lottery winners don’t have the same option unless the jackpot is $10 million or more.)
However, we do know that the lucky player hit the jackpot at the Rosie’s in Hampton (1996 Power Plant Parkway). The player hit the jackpot at 8:47 p.m. It came on an HHR machine called “The Big Easy Money.” Although it’s called a “penny machine,” it was played for 300 units ($3.00) on the winning spin.
The previous overall HHR jackpot record was $780,307, a Rosie’s official told PlayVirginia. It occurred at Kentucky Downs on April 10, 2019.
The previous Rosie’s jackpot record was $409,401. A player scored the win at the Hampton Rosie’s on Sept. 27, 2020.
Historical horse racing vs. slot machines
As we detailed in a recent trip report to Rosie’s Vinton, the average HHR machine looks, sounds, and operates largely like a traditional slot machine.
The key difference is one that will go unnoticed by most players. The result of a slot pull relies purely on chance with a random number generator. However, pulls on a historical horse racing machine are determined randomly by the results of former (“historical”) real-world horse races. It’s essentially a pari-mutuel pool that mimics live horse racing.
Again, though, to the average slot jockey, the HHR experience is essentially identical. It’s one reason Rosie’s has become a staple of Virginia gaming.
However, all five Rosie’s locations will soon need to contend with the first legal Virginia casinos. Those big-buck casino-resorts are slated to begin opening in 2022 and 2023.
Rosie’s locations also feature racebooks in which customers can watch and bet on horse races from around the country. However, the new Virginia casinos are likely to feature many gaming attractions that Rosie’s legally can’t:
- Table games
- Poker room
For now, though, Rosie’s will look to solidify its foothold in the commonwealth. Certainly, this week’s jackpot win of nearly a million bucks should help with the marketing efforts.