West Michigan man sees meteor, hits casino jackpot

Battle Creek's Kenny Tallent triggered a 'bad beat' jackpot at Detroit's Motor City Casino, being the largest jackpot of its kind in U.S. history, winning $213,712.76. (Puhr/WWMT)

Seeing a meteor in the Michigan night sky is a once in a lifetime event. For one Battle Creek man, it was only the start of an incredible evening.

Kenny Tallent was driving down I-94 towards Detroit when he saw the meteor.

"It was like a big, green flash I saw out of the corner of my eye," Tallent said. "My first thought was it was a nuclear bomb or something."

Tallent was heading to the Motor City Casino in Detroit to play poker. He said seeing the flash in the night sky was a once in a lifetime experience.

"Maybe seeing the meteor was a precursor to my luck that night," Tallent said.

The Battle Creek man has been playing poker for 13 years, and he says he never dreamed of what happened next. He was playing Texas Hold 'em when his second once in a lifetime opportunity happened that evening.

At the end of a round, Tallent flipped over his two queens to reveal four of a kind. Another player at the table flipped over two threes for a lower four of a kind. The result was a huge win for both.

"I looked at him and said 'do you got it?' He looked at me and said, 'do you got it?' And, we both rolled our hands over and we went crazy. We started jumping up and down and dancing," Tallent said. "The whole room gravitated to our table."

The dueling four of a kinds triggered a bad beat jackpot. The requirements for a bad beat jackpot differ by casino, but both players knew exactly what happened instantly. They triggered the more than $1 million pot.

"Casinos set up bad beat jackpots to pay people when they lose with a really good hand like that," Tallent said. "And, at Motor City, that bad beat jackpot was four of a kind beaten by four of a kind."

Since the jackpot is made to reward the loser, the player with the three's got 40 percent of the money. As the winner, Tallent got 20 percent totaling $213,712.76. The other players at the table all got a percentage for being part of the game.

"I was only hoping he had the other four of a kind. I wasn't even thinking about the money I won from the hand. It was minuscule to the bad beat jackpot."

Tallent said he will not bet any of his winnings from the jackpot. Instead he plans to pay off his car debt and hopes to help his parents any way he can.

"I'm gonna up my 401k contributions, so get closer to retirement," Tallent said. "I do want to take the money to go play in the World Series of Poker this year. And I'm hoping after this summer you'll be interviewing me again after I win the World Series of Poker."

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