Malta Man Unsure Whether to Brag About Big Penny Slot Win

By Fred Furnace

Published April 23rd, 2017

MALTA — A construction worker’s profitable outing at the new Rivers Casino in Schenectady is causing angst, as he is afraid to admit to friends that his payday came while playing penny slots themed around the daytime talk show, Ellen.

Marco Machismo, a 39 year-old Malta resident who works construction and drives an extended-cab Ford F-150 pickup truck, hit the big jackpot Thursday night by lining-up five Ellen DeGeneres images in a row while making “max” bets. 

The winning jackpot paid 100,000 pennies, or approximately $1,000.

While the payout is a “big deal” for Machismo, who earns about $38,000 annually, he said he is conflicted about telling his friends about his winnings.

“I’m not sure how the construction crew would react to this,” he said. “I have a reputation to protect as a ‘man’s man.’ It may not be a good look if they knew I spent the evening playing Ellen penny slots.”

Machismo said he initially planned to play mostly “manly games,” such as Blackjack and Let it Ride, but found the tables to be packed and “kind of intimidating.” That’s when he decided to check out the slots in an effort to salvage his evening.

“When I saw they had Ellen themed penny slots, I was like, ‘Oh snap, I gotta give that a try,’” he said. “The theme music from the show plays when the reels are spinning and everything. It was pretty fun.”

Machismo also played penny slots themed around the Addams Family, Sex and the City, and I Dream of Jeanie.

“Yeah, I guess it’s pretty gay when I look back on it, but whatever,” he said. “I had fun and that’s all that matters. Hitting that big jackpot was awesome.”

Still, Machismo said he will likely either keep his big Ellen jackpot to himself, or may lie about where the money came from to avoid ridicule from his pals.

“I’ll probably just tell everyone I won the money shooting craps,” he said. “That may be a lot easier than explaining the whole Ellen thing.”


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