- Nov. 6, 2001--Two hundred slot players from across the country
gathered at Harrah's Rio All-Suite Casino Resort in hopes
of taking home $1 million and the title of National Champion
of Slots® on November 6.
three rounds of fast-paced action, Frederick Okal of Fremont,
CA outlasted the competition to win the grand prize in the
seventh annual Harrah's Millionaire Maker.
a 50-year-old Operations and Grounds Supervisor for the Fremont
Unified School District, beat out 194 other finalists from
20 Harrah's properties for the $1 million. The rules of the
tournament were simple. Each player started with zero points.
After three 15-minute rounds of play, Okal emerged with 46,991
points, the highest of any competitor, to capture the winner-take-all
came down to the wire, with several participants scoring more
than 42,000 points. In the end, Okal edged the second-place
competitor by just 1,420 points, making this among the most
competitive tournaments to date.
you Harrah's! That's all I can say right now,'' exclaimed
Okal upon receiving news of his winningstatus.
"My wife and I started playing at Harrah's on our honeymoon
30 years ago, and they've always been real good to us. I can't
wait to call my friends and tell them they're talking to a
millionaire!'' Okal and his wife Mary plan to share their
winnings with their two children and other family members.
Maker began earlier this year with the nation's most enthusiastic
slot players participating in qualifying rounds at 20 Harrah's,
Rio and Showboat properties nationwide. The top players at
each qualifying tournament advanced to the finals at the Rio.
Okal, who said he attributes his win to "luck, sheer luck,''
was one of the top winners at the qualifying tournament held
at Harrah's Lake Tahoe.