2008-02-13 / Features

Astoria Man Wins $800G Thanks To Designer Jeans

A 42-year-old Astoria man won an $800,000 slot jackpot in Atlantic City on January 25, while waiting to buy a pair of designer jeans for his girl friend.

Samih (Sammy) Zabib said he was tired of her going on about the jeans she saw in an expensive boutique inside the Borgata Hotel & Casino. Tired of her complaints, Zabib went back to Atlantic City with a printout of the jeans she wanted.

When Zabib arrived at the store, which had not yet opened, and sat down at the Brazil Slingo slot machine- a move that changed his fate. Brazil Slingo accepts 2 cents for a single pull, but Zabib said he decided to invest $4 for one play, after 40 minutes at the machine. "I was trying to kill some time until the store opened and I could buy her the jeans. I was just sitting there when the machine stopped. I didn't know what happened, so I called security. They came over and looked at the machine and one man said, "You won!" said Zabib. "I said, won what? And he said 'You won it all, you won the jackpot.'"

Zabib said he looked at the screen and saw $779,000. "I had to sit down, I felt like my legs were going to collapse."

After casino officials handed Zabib a promissory note, guaranteeing payment of the full amount, he headed to the store to purchase the Dojo 7 jeans for his girlfriend. And then he called her to tell her the news.

Zabib, an Astoria native who works as a fleet manager for a local limousine company, said he plans to buy a new car with his winnings. He also plans to send some of the money to his mother and sister in Lebanon. "I always send them money. Things are tough for them. The civil war was hard on them, but now I can really help them."

When asked if a marriage proposal is in the cards, Zabib said, "We're not sure."- Liz Goff

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