The gambling world was entranced this week by the story of the man who, given a $25 free bet by the sports betting site BetMGM, decided to shoot the works and go for a 16-team parlay last weekend. The unnamed gentlemen came up a bit short in that goal, however, picking the first fifteen games correctly before missing the matchup between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football on ESPN. In the end, however, there has been a bit of a successful conclusion as BetMGM has done something that you rarely see a bookmaker do.
Unbelievable Run Ends with One Loss
The run by the unnamed bettor is quite impressive. After receiving a $25 free play bet from BetMGM, the punter decided to take on the entirety of the NFL schedule on Week 2 by issuing a 16-game parlay bet on the money line. The Thursday night game was a pretty tough sweat, with the Washington Football Team barely eclipsing the New York Giants. It did not get any easier, either, as the full slate of Sunday action came around.
The Sunday slate of games featured some barnburners, including a last second missed field goal that sent the Arizona Cardinals to a victory over the Minnesota Vikings and an overtime thriller between the Tennessee Titans and the Seattle Seahawks that ended with a Titans upset. It was an upset to all but our fearless bettor, however, as he clicked off victories through the day.
It was only after the Baltimore Ravens stunned the football world by holding off the AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs that the possibility of the bet – and its massive payout – became possible. After getting fifteen games correct, one more win – the Detroit Lions beating the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field – would earn the bettor a payday of three-quarters of a million dollars ($736,959, to be exact). Alas, the dream ended when the Packers thrashed the Lions, whom the bettor had picked at +400, the longest shot of the weekend.
But the story does not end there.
BetMGM Does the Out of the Ordinary
Some avid sports bettors might say “why didn’t the player hedge his bet? Why didn’t he cash out early?” Under the rules of the bet, the player could not cash out and take a lesser amount for what he had already done (estimates are that would have earned him around $150,000). He had to let the entirety of the bet play out. Hedging the bet also would be difficult because of the large amount of money that was on the line; a bet on the Packers to win the same amount as what was on the line would have been in the hundreds of thousands of dollars (remember, the Packers were the favorite).
BetMGM was not about to let a little thing like a Packers win prevent a good story, however. While the bet did not come home for the sports bettor, BetMGM looked at the situation and has reportedly given the player the cash out value of the ticket. That earns the player approximately $145,000, which would have been paid out if the player had cashed out before the game. It is not known, however, if BetMGM did this prior to or after the Packers victory (and the bettor’s loss).
It serves as some great promotional material for BetMGM, but do not get used to sites doing this for players. In any other case, the player would not have been awarded a payout despite not winning the bet. It was a simple case of “good PR” that saw this case end in the manner that it did…and congratulations to the unknown player for a run for the ages!