Cashing Tickets: Bettor Turns $5 Into $84,565 With NFL Week 2 Parlay Card

Posted By Marc Meltzer on September 18, 2018 - Last Updated on May 12, 2021

A winning bet is always fun but not all winning bets are the same. The Chicago Bears’ win on Monday Night Football was a big final piece for an impressive win for one bettor in Nevada. The Pro Football Progressive Contest at William Hill sportsbooks is a small $5 wager with a large payoff.

This week, a single bettor picked every game correctly to take home the prize of $84,565. This isn’t a traditional parlay or teaser card you’ll find in most casinos. The Pro Football Progressive Contest at William Hill is an exotic parlay that doesn’t involve point spreads.

Bettors pay $5 per entry and must select the winner of every game in order to qualify for the progressive jackpot. The prize carries over from the previous week if there isn’t a winner. The progressive jackpot starts at $10,000 and for each week it is not hit, 80% of the entry fees played on the card that weekend will be added to the pot for the following weekend.

If multiple bettors pick the entire batch of games correctly the prize is split. There was only one correct entry this week so the single player took home the $84,565 jackpot. One of the twists in this contest is that ties, like the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers game this week, are considered a win for the bettor.

Things might have been different for this bettor if the NFL refs understood the new roughing the passer rule or kickers could make field goals in the clutch.

Parlay cards big business in Nevada sportsbooks

According to UNLV Gaming, Nevada sportsbooks won 24.12% of the total amount wagered on parlay cards in 2017. That sounds like a lot but the percentage has been higher in the favor of Nevada sportsbooks. In 2014 sportsbooks won 36.83% of the total amount wagered on parlay cards. For comparison they only 4.38% of total amount bet on football wagers last year. There’s a reason William Hill and other sportsbook operators promote parlay winners.

When TheLines previewed the new sportsbook at The Linq, we noticed that the parlay cards were placed prominently at each betting window. Meanwhile, the daily betting and futures sheets were placed behind the ticket desk and out of sight. Caesars Entertainment certainly wants bettors to play parlays.

Despite the big jackpot win for the bettor at William Hill this week parlays, teasers, and similar weekly parlay contests are a long-term bad bet for most bettors. Selecting the right side of a game is difficult. Selecting the right side of multiple games is even more difficult.

Recreational gamblers don’t seem to mind the extra risk involved with parlays. Bettors love to win a big jackpot and parlays continue to grow in popularity. It’s a lot more fun to win a jackpot for x times the amount risked than single games at -110.

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Marc Meltzer

Marc Meltzer grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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