Marcelo Loyola has had a heartbreaking yet miraculous April. He credits winning $3.2 million at Casino Woodbine in Toronto entirely to his late girlfriend.
She passed away suddenly just days after they celebrated his 50th birthday earlier this month. “The past couple of weeks have been really hard,” he told Woodbine Casino.
Loyola and his girlfriend loved to go to the casino together: “She always went upstairs to play the slots, and I would go downstairs to play the tables.”
Grieving his loss, Loyola decided to go to the casino to relive some of their happy memories. He says he felt her presence with him when he decided to return to the casino.
“That day, I just felt her spirit in me, so I went upstairs to play the slots, even though as a table games player, I never do that,” he said.
Loyola tried his hand at several machines before feeling inspired to approach his late girlfriend’s favourite slot machine.
She had always played the machine in her own unique way. Instead of waiting for the wheels to stop naturally, she would press the button to stop the machine mid-spin in an attempt for the three jackpot icons to line up.
“I would always say to her, don’t play it like that; just let it spin! But I felt her with me that night, so I played it like she did,” Loyola said.
That’s how he won the jackpot.
“I saw ‘jackpot, jackpot, jackpot,’ and I started screaming and running around and going crazy,” he said.
A crowd of excited onlookers and casino staff soon formed to congratulate him on his huge win.
“This is an amazing story in so many ways, and we’re glad Marcelo has chosen to share it with us,” said Robert Katsavelos, general manager at Casino Woodbine.
Although Loyola is “super happy about winning,” he wishes his girlfriend was there to share this joy with him.
“She would have been overjoyed. She loved the casino, and she loved to win,” he explained.
The winner plans to spend his windfall buying a new home for his parents and visiting family in British Columbia. He’ll also be investing a portion of it.
“I want to take care of the people I love. My girlfriend and I took care of each other. I loved her so much. She would be so happy,” he concluded.
We could not be more pleased for Marcelo.