Flato said he was gambling at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Fort Lauderdale when he told his companion Marina Medvedeva Navarro to push the button for him. After she did and he won the $100,000 jackpot, an ecstatic Jan was shocked when he tried to collect his money and the clerks told him the jackpot was rightfully Navarro's.
'Upstairs, the eye in the sky says she technically touched the button, so we have to pay her,' Flato told the Miami Herald of the January 31st incident.
A spokesperson for the casino confirmed that after surveillance footage showed Navarro, 35, pressing the button to launch the reels, she became the rightful owner of the jackpot. 'The person who pushes a slot machine button or pulls the arm is the person who wins the jackpot,' said Seminole spokesman Gary Bitner.
Flato, however, says he paid the $50-a-spin on the Double Top Dollar machine, and used his gambling card to do so. He said after Marina collected the money, she got up and walked out of the Casino. He said:
'I said, "Marina, what are you doing?" and she gets up and walks out'.Meanwhile, Navarro later disputed the claim, saying that she was the one who put her money into the fated spin.
'Jan, all of the sudden, went ballistic. He started screaming in front of everybody'.She claims he also sent her a number of aggressive text messages, one of which read: 'Having me as an enemy... Not good.'
She responded to him several weeks later, asking if he still hated her. Flato reportedly texted her back asking, 'How could you do that to me?'Navarro insists that her former friend is now trying to ruin her reputation, but Flato says he simply wants to raise awareness for the seemingly unfair gambling rule.
'I'm a hard-working professional and Flato is playing with my honor,' she said.Her personal Facebook page has been flooded with hateful comments from users who have read the story.
Flato, who added he first met Navarro at the high-roller room at Gulfstream Park in 2015, said he is only raising awareness because he wants 'everybody to know what happened so it won't happen to them.' Adding:
'I've played slots all over the country and never had a problem like that. Even the people handing out the money said: 'This isn't right.'Watch the interview of the two former friends below:
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