James Adducci, a 39-year-old from Wisconsin, made his first ever (that we know of) sports bet Tuesday, April 9.
Unlike many other Americans, Adduci wagered $85,000 on Woods at 14/1 odds.
Woods’ victory earned Adducci $1,275,000 ($1.19M + his original wager). And despite it being the biggest golf payout in their history, William Hill has never been happier.
The story almost defies belief, however. And if Adducci’s story is true, it’s a cautionary tale for gambling responsibly.
The story behind the bet
Adducci told the story of his wager to VSiN on Monday (listen to a clip in the tweet below). The gist is, once he convinced William Hill of the legitimacy of himself and his bet, he went to Walmart and bought an Ozark trail backpack, got his cash, stuffed the backpack, took a shared Lyft back to the SLS where he placed the eventual winning wager.
Exactly how does one go about placing an $85,000 bet? James Adducci tells @brentmusburger and @VSiNVinny how he took the money, in a backpack, on a shared Lyft, to go place his 1.26 million dollar winning bet on Tiger.
— VSiN (@VSiNLive) April 15, 2019
Why William Hill is smiling
Look at those grins on William Hill CEO Joe Asher and SLS GM Paul Hobson’s faces (see lead image).
Yes, presenting Adducci a check worth $1,275,000 stings. It can’t be pleasant. Asher had a positive spin on it, though, saying in a press release:
“This is a story for the ages. Tiger climbs back to the top, and a guy from Wisconsin, on his first sports bet ever, wins over a $1 million betting on him. We congratulate both James and Tiger on their epic wins.”
There’s a reason for the rosy outlook.
Remember when Chris Moneymaker, an amateur poker player from Tennessee, through some skill, some luckboxing, and one bluff for the ages, captured the World Series of Poker Main Event title, $2.5 million, and the imagination of Americans everywhere?
While there surely won’t be an Adducci EffectTM for sports betting like Moneymaker brought to poker, the tale of a novice placing a massive first-time wager chasing a big payout is exactly the story sportsbooks want to sell. It’s the American dream come true.
Not all rainbows on the Tiger Woods bet
And while Adducci’s win is kind of awesome, it’s also a cautionary tale. He told multiple outlets that he still has $25,000 in debt on a mortgage, student loans and car loans, but flew to Vegas for a one-day trip to place the bet on Woods anyway.
He told Golf Digest that the bet was “everything I had that I could afford to lose.”
These are the types of wagers that typically ruin lives and households. It worked for Adducci, and more power to him. It likely won’t work for others who follow suit.
And that’s why William Hill can afford to smile.