CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 25, 2021) – Gilbert resident Stanley Beard beat the odds not once, but twice – first beating cancer as a young adult, and now, several decades later, hitting a jackpot worth over a half million dollars.
Beard hit the Ultimate Texas Hold’em Progressive Jackpot on Friday, March 19 at Gila River Hotels & Casinos – Lone Butte in Chandler. His “Royal Flush on the Flop” turned into a grand total of $538,183.
The veteran and retired firefighter first beat the odds when he was 23 years old. He was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and given only 6-8 months to live. Beard far surpassed his life expectancy and continued firefighting for 32 years, eventually becoming an Assistant Fire Chief.
Luck was on his side again last week when he sat down at the Lone Butte table to play his favorite game, Texas Hold’em.
“Everyone at the table knew I won,” Beard said about his good fortune. “At first, I had a delayed reaction. Then, when I realized what I won, I was very excited.”
Beard says he likes the challenge of Texas Hold’em because it’s hard to predict the outcome. He used to play slots until his brother-in-law got him into playing cards. Since then, he has been playing cards for years both at the casino and at home with his grown grandkids.
Beard was raised in Scottsdale before moving to Georgia, where he lived for many years. A big family man, Beard has since moved back to Gilbert to be close to his son, daughter, grandchildren and great-grandson. He lives with his wife of 20 years, Leanndra, who he lovingly calls his “girl next door,” because they were neighbors growing up.
Although Beard is not sure yet what he wants to do with the winnings, he is thinking of hosting a big family celebration at a local resort for Easter. He also gave a generous tip to the casino dealer who dealt his lucky game.
“There’s an old theory that if I get a piece of the pie, you should get a piece of the pie, too,” he said.
Giving back to others is something Beard takes seriously. For a few years, he was the Santa Claus at the Superstition Mall. In addition, during the holidays, he would take his casino winnings, buy toys, dress up as Santa Claus and donate the toys to foster children.
“The magic you see in a child’s eyes,” Beard said, “there’s nothing that compares to that.”
For details, visit PlayAtGila.com.