Imagine bringing in a half-million dollars in only a few months’ time from gambling. It sounds like every casino-goers dream, and it happened just a few years ago to one lucky guy. His friend also brought in an almost equal amount, playing the exact same slot. What are the odds of that happening? Not very good at all. In fact, these massive wins are what brought attention to these men and resulted in both men being imprisoned, one of them being nailed with 698 felony charges. Game developers rigorously test their code and regulation agencies also require games are evaluated by a third party to ensure they’re random before approving them for play. Sometimes, however, glitches and potential exploits slip through the cracks. The Dynamic Duo John Kane and Andre Nestor were a dynamic duo. Kane was a pianist, who had, for the most part, given up music and was running a lucrative management consulting practice. Nestor was mostly living off government funding and was continually scrambling for cash. Although they seem like an odd couple, they had one big thing in common- gambling. Nestor had lost about 20,000 dollars annually in the years prior to their meeting, and Kane lost half-a-million-dollars in a single year. The two met in a chatroom for Vegas locals and instantly hit it off, though, after some time passed, Nestor had lost so much that he packed his bags and set his sights on a quieter life. Winning Big Kane continued hitting the Vegas slots. His favorite was Game King, a video poker machine put out by IGT. He liked it so much, that his casino rewards permitted him enough points to select a free-play version for his own home. While playing in a casino one fateful day, he discovered that hitting a series of buttons caused a glitch within the machine to pay out big time. So, he did what any good friend would do, and he called up his buddy and told him the news. Nestor was on the next flight to Vegas and the two refined the procedure and worked as a team to collect winnings. The Scheme Falls Apart As any good tale of the Wild West goes, the two had a dispute over how to divvy up the earnings, and they parted ways. Kane worked Vegas and Nestor used the trick in Pittsburg, until Kane’s greed got the best of him. At one point, he remained on a single machine for days, netting 225,240 dollars from the same hand. Somehow, he managed to do this without getting caught, but he wasn’t quite as lucky at the Silverton. He had been hitting the same group of machines so much that their reputation for bringing the casino money was replaced by an alert that they were now paying out enormous sums. This drew the attention of the business’ security team, and they watched on as Kane won seven jackpots in about 90 minutes. He was jailed, and the machine was closed off so it could be examined. Upon his release, Kane called is friend and told him what happened, but Nestor decided Kane was lying and continued collecting on the glitch. Legal Battle Numerous charges were brought up on the pair, including everything from computer hacking to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Because all the pair had done was abuse a glitch, the only charge that stuck was wire fraud. The feds offered both men the same deal. They were told that whichever one turned on the other first would receive no jail time and only five years of probation. Although they hadn’t spoken with one another, they remained thick as thieves. With Kane and Nestor refusing to talk, the final charges were dropped, and both men were released. Nestor’s money was returned to the casino, though the IRS is still trying to collect taxes and fees on it from him. For the most part, they’ve resumed normal lives now, yet they reside on opposite ends of the country and still haven’t spoken to one another. There is a handful of other people who have exploited vulnerabilities in casinos and their slot machines. False coins, shaved coins and devices to fool a machine into thinking a 100-dollar bill has been submitted, have all been used. Crafty thieves have created arms that reach through air vents and open coin vaults, electromagnetic pulse devices, to trick a slot into thinking money has been inserted, and light wands, which blinded the coin counter’s eye, so it didn’t know when to stop dispersing. There have even been a couple of people who altered the computer chips or programming to secure a win. When caught, they all got serious jail time for cheating or fraud. Kane and Nestor, on the other hand, only pushed “a sequence of buttons that they were legally entitled to push,” according to Kane’s attorney, and that’s why charges were dropped.