A Million Dollar Escape

Jesse Castillo, a 72-year-old Ventura resident, hit the jackpot of a lifetime recently at the Chumash Casino Resort, winning more than $1 million on a slot machine.

On a Ten Times Pay progressive slot in the high-limit room, Castillo bet the maximum of three credits on the $5 machine and hit the “10-10-10” jackpot, which had been building for approximately nine months, to win $1,021,730.

“It took a couple of days to really sink in,” Castillo said. “I’ve played that machine a lot. It’s a progressive, and I was playing it when the jackpot was $270,000. People have flocked to that machine, dreaming of hitting the big payout. It was open, so I sat down and was only looking to win the $5,000 (mini) jackpot. Instead, I hit that 10-10-10. It was a serious surprise.”

It’s not Castillo’s first jackpot, but it’s by far his biggest payout. He said he’s been visiting the Chumash Casino Resort for three-plus years and enjoys the sense of escape he feels while playing the slots.

“Different people have their systems for playing slot machines – I just push the button,” he said. “The reason I come here is to get away from it all for a little while. It’s mindless. There’s no pressure.”

Castillo added: “I’ve only been to Las Vegas three times in the past 25 years, and I don’t go to other casinos – only this one. I like bringing my wife here because we have a lot of fun. When we first came to the Chumash Casino, we really enjoyed the people. Everyone here has always treated us very kindly and with a lot of respect. And I’ve always felt safe here.”

Located on Highway 246 in Santa Ynez, California, the Chumash Casino Resort is owned and operated by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.  The casino’s gaming floor is open 24/7 and features 2,000 slot machines, dozens of table games, bingo, poker and daily cash and prize giveaways. For more information, visit online at

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