BUSINESS
12/13/2011 01:57 pm ET Updated Dec 13, 2011

Behar Merlaku Denied Jackpot: Casino Claims Slot Machine 'Software Error'

Sure, plenty of people leave casinos feeling like they got swindled, but not like Behar Merlaku.

According to the Daily Mail, the Swiss gambler was convinced he had won a slot machine jackpot worth $57 million at a casino in Bregenz, Austria. But when he went to claim his prize, casino officials told him the machine had suffered from a software error and should not have awarded the jackpot.

Apparently, though the jackpot alarms went off, the slot machine only showed four matching symbols instead of the required five.

Merlaku was offered $100 and a free meal for his troubles.

Instead of accepting the offer, Merlaku decided to sue the casino. Interestingly, in their defense, casino officials note that Austrian law forbids jackpots of more than two million euros, according to the Mail.

But Gizmodo wonders how the casino can be so sure that the problem was a software error:

The owners say it's a software glitch, but wouldn't it be possible the mistake was on the display instead of the result? Perhaps the rolling mechanism got jammed and the machine correctly called the jackpot while showing an erroneous symbol.

Merlaku sounds determined to fight the casino to the bitter end. The Austrian Times translates what he told the Austrian newspaper Heute.

"I will fight for this until my death," Merlaku told the paper. "It is outrageous what they have done to me and my family."

CONVERSATIONS