Those who have played at Station Casinos are probably familiar with the Jumbo Jackpot and that when it hits everyone playing receives $50 in free play.
Well, there is a catch -- and last night I found out the hard way.
The Jumbo Jackpot was over $140,000 and had a pretty good shot at hitting any time.
I have only been playing once when it hit, another time I was in the buffet, and once a friend of mine was playing without a card and stupidly I was just standing by her machine.
Last night I was technically playing, at least I thought I was. To be more specific my card was in the machine and credits were active, only I was talking to the person next to me and as I'm the kind of person who can't do two things at once, I wasn't actively hitting the button.
When the music went off and the screen flashed "The Jumbo Jackpot is now $100,000" indicating it had been hit, the girl behind me screamed. I actually thought maybe SHE had won the Jackpot and ran over to her.
Her machine showed $50 in free play (she hadn't won the Jackpot) and that alone had her pretty excited.
When I returned to my machine it did not show the $50 free play.
The woman I was talking to had actually taken her card out when it hit.
I decided to go to the Player's Club and ask about why I didn't get in on the deal. I was told to return to my machine and ask a GSA -- Guest Service Ambassador -- about the situation.
I did as I was told turning the service light on my machine. My neighbor had moved to my machine in my absence. The GSA told me that I had to be in on a 32 second cycle when the Jackpot hit to receive the free play.
So, that's what I get for talking and not playing -- no $50 free play. I learned the hard way to keep actively wagering no matter how scintillating the conversation.
As luck would have it I sat down next to my neighbor and quickly hit a $50 line pay on WMS' "Goosin' Around." She then hit a $50 bonus round on "Jewels of the Night."
So we got our $50 after all, and cash trumps free play every time.