McDowell, age 85, hit the $1M jackpot at the Borgata Casino Hotel and Spa with just a $5 bet.
This year's Christmas is very generous to this 85-year-old pensioner, as he got two wonderful gifts: 1) the doctor has told them that his wife has been finally cleared from cancer, and on the same week 2) he hit the jackpot worth $1 million at a casino with just a $5 bet!
Harold McDowell has been supporting his wife who underwent many surgeries for liver cancer and multiple hospital confinements for colon cancer, but at long last those hardships ended on Friday, December 21 when the doctor confirmed that his significant other was clear and ultimately free from the clutches of this devastating disease.
Then on the next day (Saturday, December 22), Harold and his wife went to the Borgata Casino so that he can play a few games that afternoon. He never thought this simple session at a poker table would make him an instant millionaire.
Harold, a retired public works director, said to the New York Post about his win, "It must be luck of the Irish." Referring to his wife's complete recovery and his $1 million win he said, "They're both great news."
Harold bet a humble $5 in a poker game but incredibly managed to obtain a six-card royal straight flush of diamonds!
His odds of winning were 1 in 20,348,320, according to the Borgata Casino. He was dealt a Queen, Ace, and 10 (all diamonds) whereas on the dealer's hand it was a Jack, King, and 9 (also in diamonds).
He said that his wife was by his side when he struck the jackpot, "I happened to be playing next to my wife. I had my back to her. I turned around said: 'I just won a million dollars'." then she told me, "You're full of crap."
When the win was confirmed and the reality of it had sunk in, the couple was frozen with joy. He said, "I was dumbfounded. I sat there like an idiot." He then added about his wife's health, "It was better news that she's healthy - money isn't the most important thing."
After his jackpot win, the casino took at least $200,000 in taxes.
While the elderly couple says that their life will most likely stay the same, it will definitely change the lives of their beloved children. But of course, the couple plans to treat themselves to a celebratory cruise using some of the money that Harold won. He said, "Our lives will probably stay pretty much the same. But it might get better for our children. Maybe we'll take a cruise."