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Jackpot is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Elko County, Nevada, United States. The population was 1,195 as of the 2010 census. Located less than one mile (1.6 km) from the Idaho border on U.S. Route 93, Jackpot has been a popular casino gaming destination for residents of Idaho and other neighboring states since its founding.
Jackpot is located 47 miles (76 km) south of Twin Falls, Idaho, a city of approximately 50,000. Although officially part of the Elko micropolitan area, Jackpot is often considered part of the Greater Twin Falls region.
In addition to its casino industry, Jackpot has its own schools, golf course, and post office. Its elevation is approximately 5,200 feet (1,580 m) above sea level.
Jackpot, along with the rest of Nevada except for the city of West Wendover, is legally in the Pacific Time Zone, but, along with other Idaho border towns such as Jarbidge, Mountain City and Owyhee, unofficially observes Mountain Time, due to its economic ties with the Magic Valley region of southern Idaho. The Nevada Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration recognize this local unofficial observance.
After Idaho outlawed all forms of casino gaming in 1954, "Cactus Pete" Piersanti and Don French moved their slot machine operations from Idaho to the Jackpot townsite. Piersanti's and French's gaming establishments were named Cactus Pete's and the Horseshu Club, respectively. Piersanti in particular is credited for founding Jackpot.
In May 1958, the settlement was first recognized by the Elko County commissioners as an unincorporated town named "Horse Shu", with a population of 65, despite a protest over the name by Cactus Pete's.
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