Iowa Slot Winner Arrested for Allegedly Getting Another to Collect Jackpot
Dajo Grandberry probably thought nothing could be worse than winning a slot jackpot he couldn’t keep because of a government debt. Then he got someone else to try and collect it for him and now he realizes that being in jail is much worse.
Grandberry was arrested last week in Sioux City, according to court documents uncovered by local TV station KCAU-TV, for unlawful betting and solicitation. The alleged incident took place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City back on Aug. 7, 2022.
Grandberry was caught on camera hitting the jackpot on a slot machine at 8:40 a.m., according to police. They say the video footage shows Grandberry leading another man to the slot machine, then instructing him to claim the jackpot was his.
According to the documents, when Grandberry was approached by casino security, he admitted to the fraud. He explained that he owed money to the State of Iowa, which he didn’t want garnishing his jackpot. Security told the other man that claiming a jackpot he didn’t win is a felony offense.
Though Grandberry was able to collect the jackpot, both men were barred from the casino, and Grandberry was booked into Woodbury County Jail, where he is being held on a $10,000 bond. His arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 14.
It is not clear if the other man is being sought for a crime.
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In May, Indiana resident Billy J. Butler was arrested for asking a woman to collect his slot jackpot at the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City. His reason was so the windfall wouldn’t have be redirected to the $48K he owes in back child support, authorities said. Earlier that day, Butler won an unspecified amount of money playing a table game, but walked away empty-handed due to the debt.
Butler was arrested and charged by Mishawaka Police with cheating at gaming, in addition to unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and possession of cocaine. It was unclear if the woman was ever charged.
In 2020, another similar story played out when a Gary, Indiana police officer allegedly tried to get someone else to claim his slot machine jackpot because he was also behind on child support.
The Times of Northwest Indiana, a local newspaper, reported that Sgt. Charles Lucas was charged with cheating at gaming. While at East Chicago, Indiana’s Ameristar Casino, he won $1,358 at a slot machine. That amount did not go to Lucas. Some was deducted to pay for taxes and the rest went to $6,676 in back child support, authorities said.
Lucas disputed ever winning the money, claiming that another player hit the jackpot.
An arrest warrant in the case was “recalled” after a defense motion was filed, the Times reported. It is unclear how that case was eventually resolved.
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