Bronx resident hits more than $1M jackpot at Empire City Casino

Domingo Rodriguez of the Bronx, recently hit for the $1,062,576 jackpot.
Photo courtesy Empire City Casino

One local Bronx resident has a million reasons to smile as Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts, located in Yonkers, announced its first, million-dollar jackpot winner since before the pandemic.

Bronx resident Domingo Rodriguez recently hit the $1,062,576 jackpot with a $20 bet this on Friday, July 15, on the IGT Wheel of Fortune Triple Stars slot machine, one of nearly 4,700 top notch slot machines on the gaming floor. It was on the fifth pull that he got the shock of his life, although no one would have noticed how shocked he was given his cool, calm and collected demeanor.

While Rodriguez said he has played this Wheel of Fortune slot machine before, it was the suggestion of a stranger that prompted Rodriguez to try for the jackpot Friday. An unknown passerby told Rodriguez to play and said that he would get lucky. In Spanish, the stranger told him to “play strong” and so Rodriguez put $100 in the $10 denomination slot machine and played the max bet of $20. On his fifth spin, he hit the jackpot. When he looked around, the stranger he now calls his “Guardian Angel” was nowhere to be found.

Originally from the Dominican Republic, Rodriguez plans to spend his winnings buying his mother her dream home in their home country and will also help his family in the Bronx and abroad.

“Each jackpot winning story is exciting but this one is certainly unique,” said Ed Domingo, senior vice president and CFO of Empire City Casino. “I don’t think we’ve ever had a guest hit a jackpot after playing at the suggestion of a stranger. We congratulate Domingo, and hope he enjoys his winnings in the best of health.”

Rodriguez is the newest member of the Empire City Casino millionaire club. He joins Linda P. of Connecticut, who hit a $1,514,634.15 jackpotHoward G. of Long Island, who won $1,473,503; Linda H. of Thornwood, who took home a “nearly there” million-dollar jackpot of $961,411; and Theresa P. of Ossining, who not only holds the record for winning the highest-ever jackpot at Empire City, or any of New York State’s regulated casinos, at $2,919,162.81, but scored a second jackpot of $1,469,368.28 just a few months after her original big win.

“In the past six weeks, we’ve had 78 jackpots won over $10,000 and there are many more up for grabs, including several six-figure jackpots,”said Ryan Munroe, executive director of slot operations at Empire City Casino. “We take pride in giving our players a first-class experience on the casino floor with a wide selection of games to provide an endless amount of fun.”

Empire City boasts one of the largest casino floors in the country and is the largest gaming floor in the MGM Resorts portfolio. According to the New York Gaming Commission, there’s no shortage of wins at Empire City. Customers took home their share of $727 million in credits won in June 2021.

Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts operates daily from 10 a.m.-6 a.m. For more information on Empire City Casino, along with the latest updates, please visit

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