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Man Hits $6.8 Million After Eating 99-Cent Breakfast

February 15, 1988

RENO, Nev. (AP) _ A concrete contractor looked uncomfortable Monday amid cameras, microphones and crowds of people waiting for him to accept an oversize copy of a $6,814,823 check for hitting the world’s largest slot jackpot.

″I don’t know what to say,″ Cammie J. Brewer told a news conference at the Cal-Neva Club in downtown Reno. ″I know I have the money now. It feels pretty good.″

Brewer, 61, usually feels at home at the small casino where he became an instant multimillionaire on Sunday by lining up four ″7s″ on one of four Megabucks progressive slot machines. Brewer and his wife, Jo, have been regular visitors at the Cal-Neva since they moved to Reno in May 1962, a month after the club opened.

Brewer said he comes to the Cal-Neva nearly every Sunday morning to eat the club’s 99-cent breakfast and to play the slots. Since 1987, he’s been playing the Megabucks machines, more than 200 progressive slots linking 54 Nevada casinos.

″I figure if I’m going to play, I may as well play for the big dollars,″ Brewer said of Megabucks, billed as Nevada casinos’ answer to the California state lottery.

On Sunday he ate his 99-cent breakfast with his 81-year-old father-in-law, then played about $20 before he hit the four 7s. After the third reel showed a 7, he pointed a finger at the fourth reel and remembers saying ″Come on, let’s hit the other one.″

″I think I bumped the change girl waving my arms around when that fourth seven fell into place,″ Brewer said.

Brewer will receive his winnings in annual $680,000 payments over the next 10 years. He said he is going back to work on Tuesday, but plans to semi- retire and spend his money on his 11 grandchildren from his three children.

″Our grandkids are going to have a ball,″ Brewer’s 59-year-old wife said. ″I just couldn’t believe it. When they called me yesterday, I just started shaking and crying then called a taxi to get down there.″

Brewer wants to look at some motor homes before investing his money.

Hitting the jackpot might have made up for forgetting to buy his wife a Valentine’s Day card for the first time in their 25-year marriage.

″This did kind of settle her down,″ he said.

″He can do anything he wants now,″ Mrs. Brewer added.

Sunday’s Megabucks payoff surpassed the record jackpot of $4.9 million won by Terry Williams of Los Gatos, Calif., at Harrah’s Reno on Feb. 1, 1987.

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