Nevada Fun Facts & Trivia

Welcome to Las Vegas, Nevada

Welcome to Las Vegas, Nevada

Shrimp consumption in Las Vegas is more than 60,000 pounds a day — higher than the rest of the country combined!

In Nyala, Nevada, a man is forbidden from buying drinks for more than three people other than himself at any one period during the day.

It would take 288 years for one person to spend one night in every hotel room in Las Vegas.

About 150 couples get married in Las Vegas each day.

Nevada is called the Sagebrush State, Silver State, and Battle-Born State.

Nevada is the only state to possess a complete skeleton — approximately 55 feet long — of an ichthyosaur, an extinct marine reptile.

In Clark County, An ordinance makes bringing a concealable firearm into the county illegal unless registered with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. To register a handgun, however, it must be brought to the police station.

Tule Duck

Tule Duck

Nevada’s State artifact is the Tule Duck, created nearly 2,000 years ago. Discovered by archeologists in 1924 during an excavation at Lovelock Cave, the 11 decoys are each formed of a bundle of bullrush (tule) stems, bound together and shaped to resemble a canvasback duck.

In Eureka, Nevada, men who wear mustaches are forbidden from kissing women.

A 1910 law made it illegal to gamble in Las Vegas.

In 1931, the state created two industries, divorce and gambling. Reno and Las Vegas were the “divorce capitals of the nation for many years.” More liberal divorce laws in many states have ended this distinction, but Nevada is still the gambling capital of the U.S.

It is still “legal” to hang someone for shooting your dog on your property.

The Dunes in 1977

The Dunes in 1977

The Dunes in Las Vegas, Nevada, demolished in 1993, was the first resort to feature topless showgirls in a show called Minsky’s Follies.

The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino opened in 1906, making it the first hotel and casino to open in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Virgin Valley in northern Nevada is the only place in North America where the Black Fire Opal is found in significant quantities.

In 1941, El Rancho Vegas was the first resort to open on The Las Vegas Strip (across from what is now The Sahara).

In 1899 Charles Fey invented the slot machine named the Liberty Bell. The device became the model for all slots to follow.

Kangaroo Rat

Kangaroo Rat

In Death Valley, the Kangaroo Rat can live its entire life without drinking a drop of liquid.

It is illegal to drive a camel on the highway.

The Imperial Palace on the Las Vegas strip was the nation’s first off-airport airline baggage check-in service.

To drive from Los Angeles, California, to Reno, Nevada, the direction traveled is to the west.

Construction worker hard hats were first invented specifically for workers on the Hoover Dam in 1933.

Las Vegas has more hotel rooms than any other place on earth.

In Nevada, sex without a condom is considered illegal.

Bertha was a performing elephant that entertained for 37 years at John Ascuaga’s Nugget casino in Sparks. She was 48 years old when she died.

There were 16,067 slots in Nevada in 1960. In 1999 Nevada had 205,726 slot machines, one for every ten residents.

In Reno, sex toys are illegal.

Virginia City, Nevada Mining Works

Virginia City, Nevada Savage Works Mill, by Timothy H. O Sullivan, 1867. 

Nevada was made famous by the discovery of the Comstock Lode, the richest known U.S. silver deposit, in 1859. Gold now far exceeds all other minerals in the value of production.

While Samuel Clemens took the pen name “Mark Twain” as a reporter for the Territorial Enterprise, he began his writing career as a reporter in the Midwest some years before moving to Virginia City in 1862.

In 1931 the Pair-O-Dice Club was the first casino to open on Highway 91, the future Las Vegas Strip.

In Tonopah, the young Jack Dempsey was once the bartender and the bouncer at the still-popular Mizpah Hotel and Casino. Famous lawman and folk hero Wyatt Earp once kept the peace in the town.

In Elko, Nevada, everyone walking the streets is required to wear a mask.

Eighty-five percent of Nevada is federally owned, including the secret Area 51 near the little town of Rachel.

Neon in Reno, Nevada by Carol Highsmith.

Neon in Reno, Nevada, by Carol Highsmith.

In Reno, it is illegal to lie down on the sidewalk.

You see the name Hughes on numerous locations and developments in Las Vegas. Howard Hughes bought up considerable Nevada property before he died in 1976, including the following hotels and casinos: Castaways, Desert Inn, Frontier, Landmark, Sands, Silver Slipper, and Harold’s Club.

Austin’s oldest church, St. Augustine, requires the establishment’s bells in the tower to be rung by pulling a rope in the men’s restroom.

It is illegal for any legislature member to conduct official business wearing a penis costume while the legislature is in session.

Nevada takes its name from a Spanish word meaning snow-capped.

Most of the state is desert, but the Sierra Nevada mountain range near Reno and the Ruby Mountains near Elko has snow for half the year.

Flamingo Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada by Amy Stark.

Flamingo Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada by Amy Stark.

Many of the first hotels on The Strip opened in the 1950’s such as The Desert Inn, The Sands, The Riviera, The Dunes, Hacienda, Tropicana, Royal Nevada, Moulin Rouge, and The Stardust. In 1946, Bugsy Siegel opened The Flamingo Hotel. Some say his involvement with that project is why he was murdered in 1947 at his mansion in Beverly Hills, California.

Nevada has more mountain ranges than any other state, with its highest point at the 13,145-foot top of Boundary Peak near the west-central border.

The longest-running show in Las Vegas is the Follies Bergere at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino. It opened in 1959.

Misfits Flats off Highway 50 near Stagecoach takes its name from the John Huston film. Huston used the privately-owned area to film a complicated wild horse roundup with Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift, and Eli Wallach.

Nevada is the largest gold-producing state in the nation. It is second in the world behind South Africa.

The state’s Highway 50, known as the Loneliest Highway in America, received its name from “Life” magazine in 1986. There are few road stops in the 287-mile stretch between Ely and Fernley.

Above Hoover Dam near Boulder City, Nevada. By Carol Highsmith.

Above Hoover Dam near Boulder City, Nevada. By Carol Highsmith.

Hoover Dam, the largest single public works project in the history of the United States, contains 3.25 million cubic yards of concrete, which is enough to pave a two-lane highway from San Francisco to New York.

Nevada tribes include the Shoshone, Washo, and Paiute. Tribal lands have been used in such film projects as “Misery,” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”

The only Nevada lake with an outlet to the sea is the man-made Lake Mead.

In 1966, Howard Hughes begins his infamous stay at the Desert Inn. By 1968, Hughes purchases the Desert Inn after being asked to leave by hotel management.

In 1996, Wayne Newton celebrated his 25,000th performance, while Siegfried and Roy celebrated their 15,000th performance.

The Stratosphere is the tallest, free-standing observation tower in the US and the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River.

The Reno Ice Pavilion is a 16,000-square-foot rink that was once dismantled and moved to Reno from Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Camels were used as pack animals in Nevada as late as 1870.

It is against the law in Reno to place a bench in the middle of the street.

Bugsy Siegel

Bugsy Siegel

Bugsy Siegel named his Las Vegas casino “The Flamingo” for the long legs of his showgirl sweetheart, Virginia Hill.


Compiled by Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated November 2022.

Also See:

Nevada Fun Facts & Trivia

Nevada Photo Galleries

Nevada – The Silver State

Roadside Attractions