The future of Lord of the Rings slot machines has been a highly controversial subject in recent weeks but that won’t worry Michigan man Tyler Morris who won $7,217,175 playing the game at the Palace Casino Resort in Mississippi on Friday.

Morris considers himself to generally be a craps player but decided to play on the penny slot machine in memory of a friend whose funeral he had attended earlier in the day.

Palace Casino Public Relations Manager Lisa Quirch said that Morris won the jackpot just after 10pm.

“Tyler said he felt his friend was watching over him and had blessed him with the big win,” Quirch said.

Morris and his wife Mary were both delighted with the victory especially considering they had brought a new car earlier in their week.

“Their old car had more than 200,000 miles on it so they’d bought a new one earlier in the week to make the trip to South Mississippi,” Quirch said.

“They planned to pay it off with part of the winnings.”

Quirch said the couple also planned to spend their winnings on their family (including a brand new grandchild) as well as renovating their business which manufactures weathervanes and house numbers.

The victory is good news for the developer of the  Lord of the Rings slot machines, WMS Industries, who are currently embroiled in a legal battle over the licensing of the machines.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate is suing Warner Brothers and New Line Productions $80 million arguing that a decades-old rights agreement entitles the studio to create only “tangible” merchandise based on the books, not an “online slot machine” or other “highly offensive” digital exploitation’s.

Source: The Sun Herald