For 46 years, visitors to downtown Las Vegas could pose for free photos in front of Benny Binion’s Million Dollar Display. But the cash-laden jars were taken down in December, after a private collector bought the bills. Becky Behnen, owner of the Horseshoe, wouldn’t say who bought the collection or how much money was paid.
The display had a pyramid structure design made from acrylic glass containers filled with cash denominations from one to one hundred dollars. It evoked Binion’s poker heritage and the days when he would present stacks of cash to Poker winners at the casino. It was a cool piece of Vegas history and was a must-see for many people visiting the city.
But the Horseshoe was never the same after Jack Binion left. He had diversified his operations and was expanding the Horseshoe name to Indiana, Louisiana and Mississippi, but he couldn’t manage all of those properties from one location and the Las Vegas property started to slide quickly. In 1998, he sold his stake in the casino to Harrah’s and the Horseshoe went under a series of ownership changes. The casino deteriorated and was in dire financial trouble by the time it was re-opened in April of 2004. During that time the casino was covered in trash and duct tape, but the staff did an amazing job of keeping the place open and running.
Becky Behnen and her husband Nick couldn’t get a Nevada gambling license so they were not allowed to manage the property, but they were known to be behind the scenes running the business. But the Horseshoe was never the same without the charismatic management of the late Jack Binion.
In 2006, when the Horseshoe was renamed The Mint and a new poker room was added, the Million Dollar Display was revived. But the bills had depreciated over time and were losing their value as a result of the glue used to hold them in place. In addition, the bills were taking up valuable space that could have been occupied by other attractions or more tables.
The new owners of the Horseshoe, who are transitioning to Bally’s by the end of the year, decided to bring back the display. They used a combination of $100s and $20s to bulk it up, but they still have the 100 $10,000 bills. It’s located near the entrance to Jack Binion’s Steak restaurant and is unattended for photo ops 24/7.
It was a popular spot for tourists, locals and media to snap pictures and get their hands on some of the legendary currency. The bill stacks were taken down again in 2020 to meet social distancing requirements during the Covid-19 pandemic, but they’re back now and can be seen from the street.