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Las Vegas winners and losers

On March 21, 2003, a 25-year-old software engineer from Los Angeles won the record Megabucks jackpot of $39.7 million. He didn't make his name public, so there's nothing to go on but news reports and the recollections of people who witnessed the big win at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino. But whoever he was, people still flock to Las Vegas in the hopes of recreating whatever strange magic he performed that day.

The overwhelming majority of people following this dream will have it smashed, and leave with less money than they had when they came in. But despite facing steep odds that all but guarantee coming out a loser, every one of these gamblers dream that somehow, they will crack the code and walk out a winner with a life-altering sum of money stuffed into their bulging, overflowing pockets.

CNBC.com presents a list of 10 people who made it big or lost it all in Las Vegas, and a few who did both.

—By CNBC's Daniel Bukszpan
Posted April 30, 2014

"Money Talks" takes viewers inside the world of Steve Stevens, a sports handicapper who runs VIP Sports out of Las Vegas. Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Bruce Bennett | Getty Images