Bettor wins $1.19 million on Tiger Woods’ Masters victory

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You may not personally risk $85,000 on a 43-year-old golfer to win a major tournament.

But Wisconsin native James Adducci did. And on Sunday, a gambler who took a big shot won more money than any golfer in The Masters field not named Tiger Woods.

You don’t win $1.19 million on a single wager without taking a significant chance.

If Adducci’s backstory is true (the gambling community on Twitter has strong doubts) — boy, what a chance he took. He reportedly sold Amazon stock, added that to his leftover cash from a failed supplement business, and headed to Las Vegas on a whim.

According to The Action Network’s reporting, Adducci was $25,000 in debt as recently as Christmas. He claims he’s never placed another sports bet in his life and that the idea just occurred to him that Woods was going to win The Masters.

He told his partner of eight years that he was planning to make this sizable bet on Woods that would pay out seven figures if he won, and she didn’t stop him.

“She actually said to me, ‘I can’t stop you from doing this because if you would have won a million dollars, I’m never going to forgive myself,’” Adducci said, according to The Action Network.

After failing to get permission to wager more than $10,000 from several Las Vegas sportsbooks, Adducci finally trotted into a William Hill property, where his request funneled up to CEO Joe Asher. Getting +1400 odds, Adducci risked $85,000 on a Woods tournament victory.

It was the largest single golf ticket and liability in William Hill’s United States history.

“Pretty good first bet,” William Hill U.S. director of trading Nick Bogdanovich told ESPN.

William Hill wasn’t the only sportsbook operator absorbing a large loss from Tiger’s 15th major tournament win Sunday afternoon.

FanDuel ran a contest with $1 million in prizes, but that figure ballooned to more than $2 million because the company had offered a promotional campaign promising to refund all entry fees if Woods won.

ESPN also reported that Woods’ result led to the largest-ever futures market loss for BetOnline.

Following Adducci’s big win, and with the recent proliferation of “sports gambling” beat reporters that need to churn out content, a debate raged on Twitter: should big sports betting wins be any more newsworthy than lottery winners?

It also did not help that, according to a scathing USA Today investigation, Adducci has a history of domestic violence and other criminal charges.

There were also incongruities in Adducci’s personal story depending on which outlet you read. For example, he claimed to be married, but there are no court records to back up that statement.

Adducci also said that he planned to pay off “most” of his debt with his after-tax winnings in addition to getting new garage doors and investing.

Still, not often do we get a glimpse into the life of a man willing to risk nearly six figures on a golf futures bet. And seven-figure payouts are rare, even for an operator the size of William Hill.

It will be fascinating to track Tiger Woods’ odds and sportsbook liabilities for this year’s subsequent majors. Woods still is chasing Jack Nicklaus’ all-time record of 18 career major wins.

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