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Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino tracks down man who unknowingly won $11,000

A North Carolina man triggered "Grand Prize" coin on first game on “88 Fortunes” slot machine.

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — It was not an April Fool's joke when a North Carolina man won a $11,000 jackpot on April 1 at Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino.

Kevin Whitlock, had no idea that he had triggered the "Grand Prize" coin at a one-cent “88 Fortunes” slot machine. He was using the new member bonus credits he got from signing up for a Social Club by Seneca and he wasn't quite sure how it worked. He'd unknowingly triggered one of the game's bonus features.

A slot attendant noticed the Grand Prize coins and pressed the button to end the bonus to reveal a $11,644. However, Whitlock was not at the machine.

The team at Seneca Niagara conducted some investigative work over the weekend and figured out it was Whitlock who won the prize.

Suzi Dechene, Slot Service Manager at Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, was the one who called Whitlock to inform him of his big win.

“He said he had just gotten home from his trip and was unpacking when I called him,” Duchene said.

When Whitlock informed his wife, she was a bit unsure because of the date the prize had been won, April 1.

“She wanted to be sure it wasn’t some sort of April Fool’s joke,” Duchene said. “After I assured her that Mr. Whitlock had actually won the jackpot, they made plans for a return visit to claim the prize.”

Whitlock recently made the trip back to Western New York to claim is prize.

“I am incredibly happy for the Whitlocks. I’m sure Seneca Niagara will always be a special place for them after this experience,” said Kevin Nephew, Seneca Gaming Corporation President & CEO. “I am also really proud of our team for doing all of the leg work to track down and identify Mr. Whitlock. We love helping our guests’ dreams come true!”