Derek Stevens owns two Las Vegas hotel properties. So he’s no stranger to gambling or big bets. With that said, he doesn’t normally make money off of long-shot bets. But because his alma mater is Michigan Wolverines and he’s a long-time fan of Michigan State Spartans he thought he would ‘get aggressive’ with his prediction for the winner of March Madness. In his mind, it was the Michigan State Spartans. Apparently Stevens doesn’t normally place bets this big…
“I bet $1,000 on an NFL game,” said Stevens, who attended the University of Michigan but said he also pulls for the Spartans. “I don’t do bets this big.”
So Stevens problem in placing his bet was two-fold, he’s not allowed under Nevada gaming rules to place bets in his own casino, and secondly Michigan State odds were 50-1 to win the championship.
But neither of those two things were going to stop Stevens. He walked into his friend’s property at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino and convinced him to take on the $20,000 bet with 50-1 odds. That friend’s name is Tony Miller and he doesn’t seem too thrilled with the tournament so far for Michigan State….
“In my nine years at this sportsbook, I never accepted a bet that could result in us paying $1 million,” Miller said. “The most I’ve ever seen won here was a $100,000 parlay.”
Miller went on to say:
“This would be a massive loss for us,” Miller said. “I see days where we lose $10,000 to $30,000, but nothing close to $1 million.”
Stevens is likely to have some people other than friends and family pulling for the Spartans to win it all. That’s because he has stated his intent to give some of his winnings to employees of his hotel properties, and a donation to the Tarkanian Basketball Acacdemy….
“If I win, I’ll give some bonus money to my employees,” Stevens said. “I also want to give some money to the [Jerry] Tarkanian Basketball Academy, and the rest I will reinvest in my properties.”
Can you imagine if he were to win this bet? Who in their right mind puts $20,000 down on a team with 50-1 odds stacked against them for a win. Insanity. We will be watching closely.
Good luck Mr.Stevens. Mr. Okafor may have something to say about your future winnings.
[h/t to ESPN for the Quotes]