‘This Is Some Bull—T!’: Detroit Woman Says She Won $127,000 Jackpot at an MGM Grand, But the Casino Refused to Pay Up and Accused Her of Trespassing Instead

A Black woman from Detroit is suing MGM Casinos for refusing to pay a $127,000 jackpot she hit in October 2023. The casino claims she was trespassing after a 2015 incident, but she’s dismissing the accusations due to dozens of visits to the casino over the past eight years.

When Denise Ezell, 65, hit a straight flush playing progressive blackjack when she was down to her last bet at her local MGM Grand last year, she thought her 20 years of gambling at the casino had finally paid off.

“It was exuberating,” Ezell told Detroit Free Press. “We were high-fiving. … The dealer, he was excited. So were people around me. No one had ever seen anyone win that jackpot.”

Detroit Woman Says She Won $127,000 Jackpot at an MGM Grand, But the Casino Refused to Pay Up and Accused Her of Trespassing Instead
Denise Ezell says MGM Grand refuses to pay her the $127,000 jackpot that she won at one of their casinos. (Photo: YouTube screenshot/FOX 2 Detroit)

That exuberance quickly wore off when a pit boss informed her they wouldn’t be paying her anything and asked her to leave the premises because she was trespassing. “I walked out of there penniless. … I had no clue as to what the hell they were talking about!” Ezell said. “Do you think I would have gone down there and spent my money for eight years, knowing I was trespassing?”

Amid her shock, Ezell admitted she also had some more colorful words for the casino workers who escorted her out. “I said, ‘What the f—k’ … ‘You know, this is some bull—t!’”

According to Ezell and her attorney, Ivan Land, she had never been told she was banned from the casino after a 2015 incident in which she was accused of panhandling. However, Ezell says it was all just a big misunderstanding.

On the night in question, Ezell said she’d actually gotten into an argument with her cousin due to the latter breaching a deal they had to front each other money if one ran low after losses so they could continue playing.

According to Ezell, that night, her cousin refused to honor the agreement, which led to a public spat and her being escorted out of the building. When she asked the security guard how long she had to stay away, Ezell recalled him saying, “Maybe 24 or 48 hours.”

“She didn’t receive an email, mail, telephone call,” Land told Fox 2. “She had no knowledge that she was banned from this casino, and I don’t believe she was banned from the casino.”

Ezell says she was forced into filing a lawsuit after repeatedly trying and failing to get the casino to pay up. She says she was even promised by a well-intended employee that they would rectify the situation, only to have him call her back and say the matter had been escalated because it was above his pay grade.

Noting she could use the $127,000 to help pay off some of her daughter’s student loans, among other things, Ezell has now dubbed Oct. 30, 2023, “devil’s night.” In addition to her winnings, she is also seeking $75,000 in damages, according to a report by CBS News.

It’s the least Land feels they owe his client.

“They allowed her to gamble there and spend her hard-earned money for eight years, and then, when she hits the jackpot, they run this crap: ‘Hey, you shouldn’t be here in the first place?’” Land said.

Ezell agrees.

“When I go and lose, nobody asks for my license, what my name is – none of that but I win and all this?” Ezell said. “I just want my damn money. … I just thought when you won, they would pay you. When you lose, they take your damn money.”

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