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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Big Win at Gold Ranch (Reno)

29 August 2002

Luck arrived about 4:30 P.M. on Thursday, August 22 for a man who is reportedly a resident of Verdi, Nevada when he took over a $1 Wheel of Fortune slot machine recently abandoned by another gambler, and in less than $20 lined up the winning symbols for a $3.9 million hit. It isn't the first time that lightning has struck at Gold Ranch, the quarter version of WOF hit in June for a little over $700,000... and it has struck in the rear of the property several times at their California Lottery sales office. Being a lucky property spread into two states, they have the best of both worlds. One lucky lottery player got one-third of $97 million, and another got $29 million... today the blazing neon sign out front is proclaiming a jackpot Saturday night of $115 million. You can bet I will walk up to that office and have my entry in time for that one. I've learned one thing living out here... nobody uses the automated kiosk to purchase their tickets, and often the line snakes way the heck into Nevada... so I walk in the side door, insert my bill into the machine, punch one easy button, make the selection for the cash value option, and instruct it to print either quick picks, or insert my own choices in the appropriate slot. While all these people in line watch me do this, not one has ever left that line to print their own ticket and avoid the long waits when the jackpot is so high. I for one don't get it. It is so easy and the instructions are printed so large that even blind old me isn't squinting... oh well. Maybe I am the odd woman out?

Reno has so many upcoming events it seems as if the season for special events has only just begun. Upcoming is Labor Day, the Great Reno Balloon Races; September 6-8, The 14th Annual "Best in the West Rib Cook-off," August 29-September 2; The 43rd Annual Virginia City International Camel Races (with ostrich and emu racing too) September 6-8; The National Championship Air Races at Stead Field in Reno on September 12-15; and Street Vibrations in Reno September 25-29, when the Northern California Harley-Davidson Dealers throw their annual hoedown with hundreds upon hundreds of drool machines thundering into Reno. If there is any way you can make it to Reno during any of the special events, it's worth pondering. The food is great and the entertainment is absolutely wonderful. For those who love a great free show, check out the venue in front of John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks during the rib cook-off. During Hot August Nights, they had a free Jan & Dean concert that was a trip back in time full of beach front memories.

Concerts, food, entertainment, casino shows, big jackpots, loose slots, reasonable prices, and weather that beats Las Vegas hands down... check out Reno. Home to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, it's easy to get here... with loads of golf courses in Reno, just outside of Reno, and so many more within a one-and-a-half hour drive... it is heaven for golfers, heaven for gamblers, and heaven for anyone wanting to have a great time. Try something different if you haven't been here before. Come.