The History of Jackpot, Nevada

Jackpot Nevada historical sign

Whether you have been to the town or not, you have undoubtedly heard of Jackpot. Jackpot is a popular day-trip for Southern Idaho residents. But how did this town of only 1,200 residents come to be?

Jackpot's Origins

The most obvious assumption would be that Jackpot was started to service the residents of Idaho and (somewhat) Utah who wanted to enjoy some time at the blackjack tables or slot machines. And you'd be right.

The beginnings of Jackpot, Nevada started in the 1950's when Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver successfully campaigned to get gambling machines, and tables shut down in Idaho (among other states). That's when Peter "Cactus Pete" Piersanti and Don French took their tables and machines to the other side of the border where they opened up Cactus Pete's and the Horseshu respectively.

By 1960, the population grew to about 400 people with thousands of visitors coming to enjoy the table games and slot machines.

Jackpot Has Changed, Grown, and Expanded

Since the opening of Cactus Pete's and the Horseshu over 60 years ago, three more significant casinos have set up shop along with:

  • A golf course that can be played on year-round
  • An impressive, enclosed swimming pool
  • Tennis courts
  • A concert venue
  • Over 100 RV parking spaces
  • A school

Even though Jackpot is set in the high desert with little around it, the outdoor recreation opportunities are growing. Hunting for sage grouse, chukar, and pheasants are becoming attractive to hunters who want to enjoy both indoor and outdoor activities. For deer hunters looking to score a state record, the Jarbidge Wilderness area is said to produce some of the biggest deer around.

Planning Your Next Trip

If all this talk of Cactus Pete's, year-round golfing, or catch a concert is making you want to get to Jackpot, let us get you there. We have shuttles running to and from the Treasure Valley and Twin Valls to Jackpot all the time. Make your reservation today.

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