The biggest sports bets won in the United States since sports wagering on NFL, NBA and more was legalized in multiple states.
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Before looking at the US’s biggest sports bets won, think about how long betting has been happening historically.
Throughout history, people have always loved taking big risks. Risk and reward and all the thrill that comes as a result defines sports betting. From betting on ancient Roman gladiator fights and 18th century horse-racing all the way to mobile apps that allow you to bet on NFL wins and ping pong tournaments abroad, humans have always loved the idea of a big risk and a strategic play leading to a huge pay out.
Sports Betting Legalization Changed the Game
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which banned all single-game wagering in the United States outside Nevada, was finally struck down by the Supreme Court in 2018 after state began voting to legalize sports betting. And more and more people are getting into sports betting than ever before. The accessibility of online gaming and mobile apps just makes it easy.
Certainly, with more people playing that means more people winning as well. Some huge returns have been made in the United States in the last few years. Some of them by people who were brand new to sports betting altogether. Here’s just a handful of the biggest sports bets won.
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Some of the Craziest, Biggest Sports Bets Won
Check out some of these crazy, lucrative bets that have won in the US since the legalization of sports betting:
Tiger Woods $85,000 Masters Bet
- Bet Size: $85,000
- Event: 2019 Masters Tournament
- Earnings: $1,275,000
James Adducci was a Tiger Woods superfan. He somehow convinced his wife to allow him to place an $85,000 wager on Woods winning the 2019 Masters. So, he placed it at the William Hill sportsbook (now Caesars) with 14/1 odds and got a $1.2 million dollar payout. This broke the sportsbook’s future bet record.
The wildest part of this is that Adducci says that it was his very first sports wager ever made! You have to think this is hits the top of biggest sports bets won for first-time bettors.
Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale’s 2021 Super Bowl Win
- Bet Size: $3,460,000
- Event: 2021 Super Bowl
- Earnings: $6,200,000
Jim McIngvale, otherwise known as ‘Mattress Mack’, became a household name in the sports betting world in 2019 when he lost 13 million dollars after betting on his hometown team the Astros in the World Series. However, that didn’t stop him from continuing to make astronomical bets that would yield more favorable results.
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Now, we’re getting silly.
In February, the Texas man flew to Colorado where sports betting is legal and placed a bet of $3.46 million with a mobile app on his phone on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After making the bet, he then immediately got back on a plane home.
His pay out was about $6.2 million! In actuality, he doesn’t keep all those winnings. So, ‘Mattress Mack’ got his nickname because he owns several furniture stores in the Houston area and hedges his bets through offering a promotion that means, should they opt in, customers would receive a refund for the furniture they bought if the Bucs won the Super Bowl.
So, when Mack won this lucrative bet, it wasn’t only him that won but also thousands of customers who got free furniture out of the deal!
- “Parlay Patz” and his $1.1 Million in 50 Days
- Bet Size: $227,934
- Events: 10 various parlay bets
- Earnings: $1,165,663
Ben Patz, only a 23-year-old college kid at the time, deposited 500 bucks into a sportsbook account in New Jersey and worked his way up to his first big parlay bet in late October 2019. He put $1,800 on a 15-leg play that won him earnings of $237,200. Biggest sports bets won lists have to include this nuts parlay.
Over the next month and a half, he had an amazing streak of parlay wins including a 13-leg play of $7,000 that won him a whopping $326,000. Within a 50-day period, ‘Parlay Patz’ was able to rack up a total of $1,165,663 in earnings from his bets which he mostly placed on his phone in New Jersey parking lots.
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- 15-Leg NFL Parlay with an Insane Return
- Bet Size: $5
- Event: NFL
- Earnings: $105,000
Tayla Polia seemed to do the impossible when she placed a five-dollar bet on 15-leg NFL parlay. Parlays are notoriously hard to win even when they are 2 or 3 leg parlays, but Polia took the risk on a 15-leg parlay at 20,000/1 that included five underdogs on the moneyline. Her return ended up being an insane 2,099,900% when she brought home a total of $105k.
Apparently, it was only her second time placing a wager and earns a coveted spot on the biggest sports bets won – possibly the most interesting.
The Odds Are… Love
- 14 Cents Turned into an Engagement Ring
- Bet Size: $0.14
- Events: 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament
- Earnings: $1,345.78
New Jersey native Kevin Maselli had 14 cents left in his gaming account during the 2019 NCAA basketball tournament. He decided to take that remaining 14 cents and place a parlay bet on seven games with odds at around +1,000,000!
Amazingly enough he won and got a pay out on his tiny wager of $1,345.78 which he said he planned to use to get an engagement ring to propose to his girlfriend. Who knew basketball could be so romantic?
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The Sports Betting Craze Shows No Signs of Slowing
The US is seeing the legalization of sports betting in more and more states year after year. Additionally, the betting handles in the states where it’s already legal just keep increasing each year that passes. We are likely to continue seeing stories like those above as people keep making lucrative bets with huge possible pay outs all across the nation.
Before the recent legalizations, sports betting was treated as a bit taboo in the mainstream media. But in the last few years that has been changing rapidly as sports betting has become its own booming industry that now has a seat at the table of American sports culture!