From the Ancient Greeks and Romans to Elizabethan England, much of history is filled with stories of our love for games of chance. Now we don’t even need to step into a real casino to get that same buzz for the games we love. We can’t promise you the massive roulette jackpots described below but sites like offer access to a plethora of increasingly advanced games from the very best online casinos, making it easy to experience all the thrills of these classic casino moments, if not necessarily the vast winnings, in the comfort of your own home.

Whether we’re walking through those casino doors or firing up a game online, we always feel hopeful that we’re going to walk away from a big winner. Casino gaming is one of the few ways that you can go from rags to riches in an instant – and a few lucky gamblers have done just that. The house may have an edge, but these guys prove that even without experience you can bleed the house dry with a little luck on your side. Their stories are now the stuff of legend and sum up why we’ve always loved to wager.

Ashley Revell

Heading to the casino with some loose change is one thing, but that wasn’t nearly enough for one extraordinary gambler who earned himself worldwide fame in 2004. Ashley Revell sold every single one of his possessions to raise money for a very special wager. His clothes, his car, his bike – everything he owned was sold off at car boot sales and auctions. Revell managed to get $135,300 of life savings together, and headed straight for the Plaza Casino in Las Vegas. At the roulette table, he placed every penny he owned on red, and cameras were there to capture the amazing outcome.

The ball duly landed on 7 red, and Revell instantly doubled his money to $270,600. Cool as a cucumber, he then tipped the dealer $600, said “thank you”, and walked away. As well as inspiring Simon Cowell’s hit TV gameshow Red or Black, Revell also taught casino-lovers everywhere the importance of knowing when to quit.

Mike Ashley

Maybe Ashley’s a lucky name? Mike Ashley, the owner of Newcastle United, may not have been short of a bob or two, but that didn’t stop him taking a hefty risk on the casino floor. In an extraordinary 15 minutes at the roulette table of the Fifty London casino in Mayfair in 2008, Ashley made a ‘complete’ bet on his lucky number, 17. It was certainly lucky for him that night, his complete netting him an astounding £1.5 million in an instant. The crowd was stunned, and Ashley left the casino to the sounds of rapturous applause and, we bet, a very big grin on his face.

Elmer Sherwin

You don’t have to stick to roulette to win big. The MegaBucks progressive slot machines were launched back in the 80s as a revolutionary new slot game. The machines are connected to all the other MegaBucks machines across the whole state of Nevada. The jackpot grows with every dollar that’s dropped through the slot, resulting in some of the highest progressive slot jackpots in the world. Tens of millions of dollars are up for grabs, but the chances of winning that jackpot are around fifty million to one. It’s those odds that make the 92-year old Elmer Sherwin the luckiest man on the planet. He not only won the inaugural $5 million jackpot in 1989, he then won it again in 2005 – only this time it stood at a cool $21,030,657.77! Sometimes, lightning really can strike twice.