• 36°

Teacher wins $2.5M in jackpot

[11/4/04]A teacher from Canton won $2.5 million Monday playing a slot machine at Rainbow Casino in Vicksburg.

Eugene Rivers, a 56-year-old musician and music teacher, hit the jackpot on Rainbow’s Millionaire 777s after depositing $22. He said he initially walked by the machine, but turned around to give it a try.

“Something told me to play this one today,” Rivers said.

The new multimillionaire said he plans to use some of the money to buy land in Canton and develop a children’s play area.

“I had been looking at this property for a while, but I never had the funds to do this before,” he said.

Despite the impressive jackpot, it is not the largest in Vicksburg or at Rainbow. In June 2000, a Texas man won $9.8 million on a Wheel of Fortune slot machine at Rainbow.

Rainbow is one of four casinos in Vicksburg. The first to open was the Isle of Capri in August 1993 followed by Harrah’s in November 1993, Ameristar in February 1994 and Rainbow in July 1994.

Rainbow operates more than 1,000 slot machines.

Rainbow Hotel Casino is a subsidiary of Alliance Gaming Corporation, a Nevada-based company that primarily manufactures slot machines.

Last year, Harrah’s Vicksburg was sold to a Kentucky-based company and now operates under the name Horizon Casino. A plan for a fifth boat was announced earlier this year by Lakes Gaming Mississippi, LLC, a Minnesota-based company, which has proposed a 40,000-square-foot casino and resort-style facility off U.S. 61 South.