While Super Bowl betting retains its massive popularity close to game time, rarely does the event see a wager of sky-high proportions. The Philadelphia Eagles are the underdogs to the favourite Patriots going into the February 4th clash, but in the eyes of one hopeful punter, the Eagles are poised for an upset!
The elusive mystery gambler, a veteran to NFL betting, has placed a bet reaching far into the millions on an Eagles win at Super Bowl LII. The Patriots are favourites to win at the mammoth sporting event, so it’s safe to say that this particular punt has left some of the top bookies scratching their heads.
Many media outlets have begun speculating as to who the big spender is, with big names like Kobe Bryant and Bradley Cooper (a known Eagles fan) popping up on the rumour list. Vice President of MGM Jay Rood would not give away the total amount of the bet, but he did speak with ESPN and confirm the news.
"It’s fair to say we’re very heavy on the Eagles at this point."
The seven figure bet now cements itself as one of the largest reported wagers in recent years. The multimillion dollar wager, while astronomical in amount, is in good company amongst other gigantic bets placed in advanced of Super Bowl LII, some of which well into the six-figure amount.
Rood also told ESPN that four and five figure punts have come in, the majority of which have been angled in the direction of a Patriots win. Some of those “smaller” bets range from $10,000 to $80,000. For comparison, last year's Super Bowl betting broke the Nevada record for most money wagered.
Sportsbooks in Nevada are starting to adjust the point spread for the Super Bowl after a massive wave of money came pouring into their laps in support of the Eagles. MGM Resorts is now offering the Patriots as the 4.5 point favourite, with the over-under total set at 48. Other outlets, like the Westgate SuperBook are also following suit, changing up their point spreads to account for the underdog enthusiasm.
Those interested in the anonymous Super Bowl bettor may be familiar with William Lee Bergstrom, another gambler famous for his staggering betting amounts. Long before the introduction of online gambling sites, Bergstrom, also known as the Phantom Gambler, entered Binion’s Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas and placed one of the biggest bets the gambling world has ever seen.
Bergstrom arrived with two suitcases, one full of cash (amounting $777,000) and the other empty. He placed the full amount on a single bet of dice, winning himself what would amount to $2.31m dollars today. The casino owner helped him to pile his winnings into his empty suitcase.
Bergstrom picked up both, said thank you, and disappeared. The legend of Bergstrom’s bet continues to be a hot topic of discussion on Nevada casino floors and in bookmakers today. On a darker note, it's been reported Bergstrom went on to lose $1 million on a single bet before taking his own life.
Multimillion dollar betting has steadily grown, with many of the world’s richest happy to place life-changing amounts of money on singular outcomes. In recent years Floyd Mayweather, who is also rumoured to be the anonymous Super Bowl punter, has placed eye-watering amounts of money on big sports games.
Most famously, the champion boxer placed £5.9m on Miami Heat beating the Indiana Pacers, earning him an unbelievable $6.4m in cash. The boxer also bet on himself for his infamous clash with Conor McGregor, which took place last August.
On the other side of the Atlantic in Scotland, a ballsy bettor stuck £900,000 on a ‘No’ vote outcome during the countries 2014 independence referendum. The lucky punter potted £193,000 in winnings when the result was announced before blowing £200,000 on a hung parliament bet for Theresa May’s General Election.
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