Dream literally comes true

Eagle River woman wins $1 million in Las Vegas


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Linda and Al Fleury stand next to Linda’s new Buick LaCrosse at their Eagle River home Saturday, July 7. Linda used some of her $1 million Las Vegas winnings to pay for the car.

MIKE NESPER

Winning $1,064,121.24 in Las Vegas was a dream come true for Linda Fleury — literally.

Prior to her trip, Fleury’s husband, Al, had a dream that she hit the jackpot of a progressive slot machine.

Fleury said she typically plays single slots with five-figure payouts because the odds are much better.

But, at her husband’s request, Fleury visited the linked slot machines at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino every other day.

“The only reason I played it was because my husband told me to,” she said. “If he didn’t tell me that, I wouldn’t play it.”

On June 20, Al’s dream became a reality.

After placing $20 bills into two machines yielded no return, Fleury put one more Andrew Jackson into a third slot.

“It hit,” she said.

At first, Fleury wasn’t sure what happened. No flashing lights or sirens were coming from the Wheel of Fortune machine.

“I just sat there looking at it,” Fleury said. “It didn’t ding. It didn’t do anything.”

Then, Fleury realized she’d just won a million dollars.

“I started jumping up and down,” she said. “I thought I was dreaming.”

A passer-by joined Fleury in her celebration. Fleury called Al, who was home in Alaska.

“He didn’t believe me,” Fleury said.

It took confirmation from the stranger with Fleury to convince Al his wife was now a millionaire.

“It just became unreal after that,” Fleury said. “It was pretty crazy.”

Fleury knows her odds of winning were next to nothing.

“I must be pretty darn lucky,” she said.

Fleury, a grant specialist with the Southcentral Foundation, was in Vegas for work-related training. After she informed her family, Fleury notified her co-workers of her good fortune.

“I told my boss, ‘Don’t worry. I’m not going to quit my job,’” Fleury said. “I like my job, and I like what I do.”

Fleury, who turns 53 this week, said she plans to use her winnings to travel to New Zealand. She also used her first payment of more than $53,000 to buy a new Buick LaCrosse.

Fleury said her phone rang constantly as news of her Sin City miracle spread.

“Most of the people were actually really happy that I won,” she said. “They just couldn’t get over it that they actually knew somebody that won.”

Fleury, who’s lived in Eagle River for nearly two decades, isn’t letting her new wealth alter her life.

“It’s an added bonus,” she said. “I’m not going to make any changes.”

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com.

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