One bet. $1,500 dollars. No tears. Potential payout: $300,000.
That is the essence of a bold wager, carrying 200-to-1 odds, placed by an unnamed gambler. The wager, which rapidly made the rounds on social media on Monday, was placed in November, waaay before the NCAA’s selection committee identified all 68 teams that would compete in March Madness.
That lucky (or crazy, or crazy rich, depending on one’s perspective) ticket owner could have seen a hefty, 200-fold return on his or her investment, if the No. 3-seeded Texas Tech Red Raiders had been able to manage a victory against No. 1 -seeded Virginia in Monday’s championship final in Minneapolis. Instead, the bet slip is now just confetti.
Virginia won the NCAA men’s basketball tournament Monday evening, defeating the Red Raiders 85-77 in overtime.
ESPN interviewed the bettor on Monday, but didn’t name that person. SuperBook director John Murray, in the same article, described the bettor to ESPN as “a well-known player who takes a lot of futures positions with us.” The wagerer also made a losing $1,500 bet on Michigan State at 40-1, ESPN reported.
The Raiders made it to last year’s Elite Eight but hadn’t ever made the Final Four, much less won a championship. In fact, it is that 2018 run that emboldened this current gamble, the bettor told ESPN: “I had bets on them last year at 250-1, and even though they fell short in the Elite Eight, they returned a lot of the same guys and the same coach.”
Texas Tech is now on the doorstep of its first major championship, reportedly fueled by one song from the soundtrack for popular videogame “Red Dead Redemption 2.”
Luke Pergande, co-founder of ticket exchange market PropSwap.com, a secondary sport-betting exchange, had this to say to about the wager to Philly.com, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s digital site: “It’s one of the best sports bets I’ve ever seen.”
As of Monday afternoon, the Virginia Cavaliers stood as a 1.5-point favorite against Texas Tech, according to CBS Sports, with oddsmakers expecting a low-scoring affair in the pairing of defensively minded, grind-it-out teams.
Sportswriter Darren Rovell tweeted that the Texas Tech bettor was in an “insane place” after making the wager.
But with the Cavaliers winning the title, the madness came to an end.
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