It was 12:30 when Hick stopped by to tell me he was ready to leave the casino. The Pony was somewhere in the maze of slots behind me. I bargained with Hick for a little more time, since The Pony and I were having fun, and had money left to gamble. Hick grumpily agreed to 1:15 as our departure time. I said I'd tell The Pony, since he checks in with me more often than with Hick. AND The Pony checks his texts.
The Pony passed by around 12:45, and said he was going back to play his favorite Brazil game on the Wonder 4 Spinning Fortunes over by the opposite wall. I told him I'd work my way over there, but that we had to leave at 1:15 to meet Hick by the door.
Since I move slower than Uncle Joe at Petticoat Junction, it took me a while to meet up with The Pony. In fact, it was 1:00 when I got there.
"I can't believe we have to go so soon! I still have slots I want to play."
"And I have money left to gamble! I could play this game for a while, but NO, we have to leave too soon."
I was playing Buffalo Gold at the slot on the left end, the #1 slot of those four. The Pony had saved it for me, since he was playing #2. As I had caned over there, I saw The Pony glancing over his shoulder looking for me. Hick was grousing around in parts unknown.
"What time is it NOW, Pony?"
"Crap! I'm going to play faster! Gotta get as much gambling in as I can!"
"I'm going to raise my bet to MAX."
"Whatever works for you. I'm keeping mine the same. Just faster."
At 1:10, The Pony hit a bonus. It was the SUPER FREE games, meaning he got to play all four screens. And he was on a $10 bet!
"Um. Mom? I just hit a hand pay! This one screen alone is over $1,400!"
"OH CRAP! You don't have your ID! I hope they don't deny you the jackpot! You know how it always says any malfunction voids all pays. What if they use NO ID as an excuse not to pay you?"
"I don't know. There's nothing I can do."
"When they come over, just act normal! When they get to the part about seeing your ID, search all around, like you have it, but then can't find it."
"I have my WORK ID. And my old license before I renewed it..."
"Nope. I could jump over there and act like I was playing it, but there are cameras all over. You can bet they'll review the camera before they pay. To see who was sitting there when the bonus hit. So that would put us in even more hot water."
The Pony let his bonus play out. Then the screen went gray, and the loud JACKPOT kind of music started playing.
"Yeah. I'll just act like I'm looking for my license. It says CALL ATTENDANT. Do I need to push that button for SERVICE?"
"No. They'll know! Believe me, everything is monitored. They'll be here. Looks like we're not going to be meeting Dad at 1:15. I better call him. He never looks at his texts."
I called Hick, who was less than thrilled to hear that The Pony was getting a hand pay.
In case you can't see the amount there in the line where it says "You have won a JACKPOT," it was $2,392.51.
"I'm sorry that's so loud, Mom. I had the volume down to MINIMUM, but it just did this on its own."
"Yeah. They do that on purpose. They want everybody to hear when there's a hand pay, because it makes people think THEY can win one, and maybe they'll gamble more!"
The attendants showed up, two gals who congratulated The Pony, then fiddled with the machine to stop the music. Attendant 1 started getting The Pony's information.
"What do you want to do about taxes?"
"I don't know. I don't know anything about taxes!"
"You probably want to have them all held out right now. Then you won't have to worry about it at tax time."
"Yeah. I should do that."
"Okay, so you want both federal and state held out of your jackpot?"
"I'll need to see your ID."
"Sure." The Pony dug around. Pulled out stuff. A $5 bill fell to the floor.
"Oh! Don't lose your money!"
"It's just a five. I'll get it in a minute. Huh. I don't think I have my driver's license with me. I have my work ID. I work for the post office. And I have my old license. And I have a picture of my current driver's license on my phone. Is that good enough?"
"No. We need the actual license. Are you sure you don't have it?"
"Yeah. I'm sure..."
"Okay. Let's get all the other information. We'll do the paperwork. Get your picture. Then we'll issue you a voucher for the money, and you can come back to get it when you have your ID."
"Oh! Is there a time limit on that? Like, can he come back tomorrow?"
"He can come back TODAY if he wants. Do you live far away?"
"An hour. I'll probably come back tomorrow."
Anyhoo... it took a long time to get all that info together. Hick was sitting to my left, at another bank of slots. You'll never find a bigger fun-sucker than Hick in a casino after he's spent his money.
"I think I'll just go out to the car and wait."
"It's 97 degrees! Why would you do that?"
"I can sit out there as well as I can sit in here. I'll run the air conditioner."
"GAS? That's just stupid. It won't hurt you to sit here with us."
Seriously. How could Hick not be THRILLED for The Pony's hand pay? Then we all discussed The Pony's return. Which meant in his no-AC Rogue. I had volunteered to ride up there with him the next day, because it's Hick's Storage Unit Store day. But I wouldn't do it with no AC. So we agreed that The Pony could drive A-Cad. But then Hick said:
"I'll bring him back up this afternoon. To get it over with."
Which is what eventually happened, after a stop for lunch on the way home, and The Pony driving his no-AC Rogue back to Pony House for his license.
"I'm going to leave my voucher here in the Acadia while I go get my license. Because I wouldn't want to get back up there and not have my voucher..."
The Pony gladly paid for our lunch and gas.
The amount The Pony cleared from his $2,392.51 jackpot was $1,722.51. They told him the voucher was good for five years! I can't imagine anybody waiting that long to claim a jackpot.
A hand pay is any jackpot $1,200.00 or higher. You can get $1,199.99, with nobody being the wiser. But for $1,200.00 or higher, the amount must be reported by the casino, for tax purposes. Anything less, and you're on your own to report it as income.