New Jersey Woman Who Won $1.3 Million Online Slots: ‘I’m Not Much of a Gambler’


Cathy Ruela has won over $1.3 million playing the online slot game “Millionaire Genie”.

(Courtesy of

Online gambling became legal in New Jersey for its residents last year.

MORRIS PLAINS – It’s an understatement to say that ‘Millionaire Genie’ is Cathy Ruela’s lucky game.

The 31-year-old Morris Plains resident signed up in February, with an offer of 20 free spins on the 50-cent online slot game, she said. The first time she played, she won $300.

It’s quite lucky.

The last time she played, she won $1.3 million.

It’s… a little luckier.

“I didn’t know if I won $1 million or $1,000,” Ruella wrote to NJ Advance Media in a chat that unfolded as her big win — online. “It wasn’t until I called the rep and confirmed the win that I was reassured.”

Ruela logged on to on Nov. 6 and “went his way to New Jersey’s biggest online jackpot – $1,334,641.22 – when the randomly assigned payout hit after his 15-line bet opened the Genie’s treasure chest,” according to a statement. from

The jackpot was the top seven-figure online prize in New Jersey and the third-largest prize won by a player in New Jersey, including in-person players, according to Harrah’s. Internet gambling became legal in New Jersey on November 25, 2013.

The company quoted Ruela as saying she was “just a little bit in shock when it hit.

“You know when I’m at Harrah’s Atlantic City there’s bells ringing and people all coming and it gets checked out by a staff member right there. So when it hit I looked computer screen for a while trying to digest it all,” she said in the company’s statement. “But I’m happy to report that it’s effectively the same as in the physical casino, and even better, I was able to celebrate in my pajamas at home.”

Ruela told NJ Advance Media that she and her husband want to pay off their debts, save for their son’s college, and “of course (have) a well-deserved family vacation.”

“It’s just going to be a big Christmas for us this year,” she said.

Ruela said she loves “Millionaire Genie” – the slot game is generous with free spins, which has already earned her smaller prizes.

She could play again, but just once in a while.

“I’m not a big gamer,” she said.

Louis C. Hochman can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @LouisCHochman. Find on Facebook.

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