From the It Could Happen To You Department comes news of a new record progressive slot jackpot payout – and this mark could stick around for sometime. Sunday, January 20, saw an as-yet unnamed Helsinki-based player hit the jackpot on the Net Entertainment slot game Mega Fortune while playing at the government-owned Paf casino website.

The winning amount was a whopping €17.8 million (approximately US $23.75 million) but if you think that number is impressive enough, consider further that this new record tops the previous highest-ever payout by over 34%! In September 2011, a Norwegian student got lucky playing the same game to the tune of €11.7 million (app. US $15.9 million) – itself an incredible 83%-plus increase over the former biggest winner.

The weekend jackpot hit would appear to indicate a takeover as the dominant progressive-jackpot supplier and the top progressive jackpot slot. Prior to the big 2011 win on Mega Fortune, the previous records had been owned by Microgaming Network and its Mega Moolah, said to be the most popular progressive slot out there.

In April 2008, Finnish player Klaus E. cleaned out Mega Moolah for a hit of over €5.55 million. This was in turned topped 13 months later by Georgios M. of Greece, who turned a 50 eurocent spin into €6.37 million and who held the record mark for an online slot jackpot win until 2011.

The record-breaking win can also be attributed in part to the general increase in the growth of progressive jackpot networks online. As progressive jackpot slots typically accumulate their big payouts based on the earnings of the game at several casinos, the larger the casino network gets and the more popular the slot game becomes, the bigger the progressive jackpot. Mega Moolah and the Microgaming Progressive Network paid out more payouts of over $2 million in 2012 than in the previous three years combined.

Thanks to several standing contracts in government-regulated markets in Europe, the Net Entertainment progressive jackpot network has increased in reach, and its slots’ jackpots will certainly increase in size in the medium-term – but we daresay it will be sometime before another €17.8 million payout is seen anywhere...