The Super Bowl streaker has his story and he’s sticking to it.
A 31-year-old Florida man who stormed the field, half-nude, at Raymond James Stadium Sunday night said he turned $50,000 into $375,000 via a prop bet regarding “whether or not someone will run onto the field” during the Big Game.
In essence, he bet on himself – with a little help from his friends – when he realized there actually was a prop set up for such a thing at unregulated sportsbook, Bovada.
“I immediately started calling every single person I know and asked them to set up an account with Bovada and place this bet for me,” the man told WILD 94.1 in Tampa. “So I did as many as I (could) and with the difference – I made a phone call to … I don’t want to say, but a big celebrity in Vegas and we asked him to find someone that would take this prop bet for us. So I sent someone to Las Vegas – Sunday morning, 9 a.m., they landed at 11, and rushed over there and bet it for me with the difference of the money.”
Collectively, between all of them, they were allegedly able to bet thousands of dollars on this prop. If that’s true, then it should be a sobering warning to all people who use Bovada and other unregulated sportsbooks in the US.
“This is a good example of a prop that legit sportsbooks wouldn’t touch, as bettors could impact the outcome,” a BetMGM spokesperson told TheLines.
Bovada told TheLines on Wednesday that users who placed a ‘No’ bet on this market would get a refund, but it did not specifically say if the streaker and his cohorts have or will receive payouts.
“Bovada identified some betting irregularities on our Super Bowl prop ‘will a fan run onto the field during the game?,'” said Bovada Communications Director Ross Stevens. “Our players have always trusted us to ensure the integrity of all props offered in our sportsbook. We will continue to make sure that any publicity stunts or ill-intended behavior cannot adversely affect the outcome of a player’s wager.
“All of our players are on a level playing field, so if you bet ‘NO’ on this market we’re going to refund your bet. Additionally, we’re honoring all those ‘YES’ wagers we’ve determined to have had no part in the betting irregularities. We’ll be reaching out to all those players impacted by this event shortly.”
How was this possible?
There are several reasons why bettors can’t have more than one active account with a regulated sportsbook. One of them is to protect the integrity of betting markets. If a person is able to fund and run multiple accounts, that person could manipulate the odds drastically. That effect multiplies if the bettor has a large bankroll.
Basically, the streaker – if his claim is true – knew he couldn’t place one singular $50,000 wager on the prop bet. But if he spread it out with help from multiple bettors, he could – in theory – get away with it.
It is surprising that any book – regulated or unregulated – would take a wager on this prop considering how easy it could be manipulated.
As a hypothetical – if the streaker initially approached a bookie/sportsbook and asked for that specific prop, that would seem fishy right out of the gate. Any bookie worth his or her salt would smell a rat.
Conversely, if a bookie made it known that such a prop was available – you can bet that a group of people or a single person with deep pockets – would drum up enough money to make sure that the prop cashed.
Adding to this story is that the streaker is said to have had a history of running onto the field of play during major sporting events. The 31-year-old Florida man is said to have previously made it onto the grass of the World Series and the court of the NBA Finals.
So, why is taking this bet such a bad idea?
You will certainly never see a “streaker” market at any regulated sportsbook in the US. Even if the law allowed it, it just wouldn’t make financial sense for the operator.
There are also major legal and safety issues to consider here as well. With Bovada having posted this prop, it actually encouraged someone to trespass and run onto the field of play where there were dozens of athletes participating.