Northern Lights Casino Smoke Signals machines receive upgrade

Jodi Schellenberg
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Those wanting a chance to be the Smoke Signals newest winner may be pleased with the new machines.

Doris Staflund, the most recent Smoke Signals winner from Prince Albert, cuts the ribbon to unveil the new machines going into the Northern Lights Casino.

The Northern Lights Casino in Prince Albert unveiled its new Smoke Signals machines and different progressive prizes to be won.

Instead of starting at $250,000 prize that worked up to the biggest prize to be collected at $1.1 million, the new machines will have three progressive prizes to be won -- one from $1,000 that goes up to $3,000, second from $25,000 to $75,000 and the third from $1 million to $2 million.

Similar to the old machines, the new machines are connected to the other SIGA casinos.

“We call them a wide-area progressive which means these games are also at the other six casinos SIGA owns and runs, which means they all contribute to the same pool,” slot manager Clinton Dagenais said. “Everybody pays into the same pool which means any of the other sites could win as well.”

The machines are what casino manager Richard Ahenakew calls a mystery progressive.

“Smoke Signals is a progressive that can go any time -- there is no little magical trolls or anything that is going to help you,” he said. “You just put in your money and if you get the lucky spin then you’ll win.”

After an official ribbon cutting, Doris Staflund, the most recent Prince Albert Smoke Signals winner of $1.1 million, took the first spin on the new machines.

“I was surprised when they phoned. I didn’t expect to be here for that but it was nice.”

Since becoming a millionaire, Staflund said her life hasn’t changed a lot but it is a little easier than before. She will be retiring from nursing at the end of July.

Shockingly, her brother-in-law won $1.4 million about a month after her win in March at the casino in Medicine Hat.

Staflund enjoys relaxing at the casino in Prince Albert.

“I come quite often actually but I am usually on the penny machines -- I just happened to play that one because it was quite high,” she laughed. “Usually I am at the one cent ones. It is nice to come for an hour to an hour and a half and then go home.”

As a promotion for the new machines, one free spin is being offered to all casino visitors between 1 to 4 p.m. until Sunday. The first winner on one of the new machines was Deanna Robert.

“I had one free spin and won $45,” she smiled. “That’s not bad.”

Dagenais believes the machines are exciting and “add a new level of playing field for excitement and entertainment.”

Since the Smoke Signals machines were unveiled 18 years ago, Prince Albert has seen 16 winners at the Northern Lights Casino, something they hope to continue in the future, Dagenais said. 

“The bigger prize is obviously the one we are trying to push because $1 million that is a life-changing event, that is an unforgettable moment, that is something that is really going to make a big impact on somebody eventually.”

Organizations: Northern Lights Casino, Prince Albert

Geographic location: SIGA, Medicine Hat

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