Casino jackpot leads to courtroom joust

A man who won 43 million euros at a casino in Bregenz, western Austria, is suing the company after it failed to pay him his jackpot prize.

Behar Merlaku, 26, went out for a flutter following the birth of his baby son.

As it soon transpired, the delighted dad was in for more than one miracle.

As least that was how it seemed when he scooped the jackpot, for when the Swiss citizen attempted to claim his 43 million euro prize, staff fobbed him off with a string of excuses.

Merlaku told Austrian paper Heute the whole story:

"When I won I was ecstatic and of course I relied upon it being a real jackpot which it was, he revealed.

I saw it on the screen. But then the disappointment came when two casino workers came to me and said there was a software error. They took me for a fool which I am not. I've played in many casinos and I know the way the cookie crumbles. It doesn't concern me if they have a software problem.

The casino later tried a different line.

"I also received a letter saying that a casino worker had manipulated the jackpot by mistake. That's not my problem either, win is win, Merlaku says.

Having now spent four months trying to seek justice, he has decided to turn to the courts.

"I will fight for this until my death. It is outrageous what they have done to me and my family. I want to spread what happened to me all over Europe. I don't accept it.

"I'm happy about my first born son Erion but I have psychological problems since the jackpot incident. I can't sleep anymore and I constantly think about the injustice I've experienced. I'm almost ruined. I'll always keep thinking about that day."

Now it's up to the courts to decide who's the ultimate winner.


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