By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A man won nearly $800,000 on Sunday at the Evanston Horse Palace, causing him to leave the building without saying a single word to anyone.
According to Horse Palace spokeswoman Hayley McKee, the anonymous man won a jackpot of $798,549 on Sunday evening while playing the Blue Bolt 7 Historical Horse Racing Game.
“According to the Evanston Horse Palace staff, the winner did not even realize he had won the small fortune. The staff had to point it out to him,” McKee told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday. “At that point it was evident that the big winner was in a state of shock and did not say one word after. He walked out with a $798k check completely speechless.”
The man declined to speak with Cowboy State Daily for this article, with McKee describing him as “tight-lipped.”
This is the largest historical horse racing jackpot ever won in Wyoming, according to Wyoming Horse Palace president Nick Hughes.
“The only thing bigger than this jackpot is the smile on the winner’s face and his family’s excitement,” Hughes told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday. “We are thrilled to be a part of Wyoming history with this huge payout, the highest Historical Horse Racing jackpot in the state ever. It’s an honor to be a part of a special moment that can transform someone’s life.”
In historic horse racing, players use a device that looks like a slot machine to place their bets. The outcome, owners claim, is determined by the outcome of horse races run in the past.
Since the game is not technically a lottery, the Evanston winner is allowed to conceal his identity from the public. Only 11 states allow lottery winners to anonymously claim their prizes, but Wyoming is not one of them.
In addition to Evanston, the Wyoming Horse Palace owns eight other locations in Wyoming: two in Casper, two in Cheyenne and one in Gillette, Green River, Rock Springs and Sheridan.
The company’s largest jackpot available to win as of Tuesday was $100,000.
Instant racing has been legal in the state of Wyoming since 2013, but there have since been challenges to its legality, with opponents arguing it is no different than gambling on a game of chance.