The person who was the happiest after the Kansas City Chiefs bounced back after an ugly loss to the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football was likely not in the home locker room at Arrowhead Stadium after the game, and probably has no association with the Kansas City metropolitan area. That person is a man in New Jersey that just won $125,000.
He didn’t even win the money for betting on the Chiefs or anything to do with the game. He won it by taking quite the longshot this weekend. ESPN’s David Purdum spoke to the man who bet $1,000 at the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City that Mike White, the New York Jets backup quarterback who entered the NFL in 2018 and threw his first regular-season pass in Week 7 of this season, would have the most passing yards in the league this week (+12,500.)
On Sunday, White became the second quarterback in NFL history to throw for 400-plus yards in his first start, and the Jets won a thriller, 34-31, against the Cincinnati Bengals. His league-high in passing yards held all day on Sunday and the ticket was up for sale on Monday. The man didn’t find an offer he liked so he sweated out Patrick Mahomes vs. Daniel Jones. Neither quarterback cracked 300 yards passing. He made more money this weekend than White did ($50,000) for playing against the Bengals.
This is like in Brewster’s Millions when Richard Pryor won that bet on every 50-1 longshot at the track, except that character was trying to lose money. This man in New Jersey might have cried from joy.
There have been victories like this in the past. The St. Louis Cardinals were a 500/1 underdog to win the pennant and a 999/1 underdog to win the World Series on Sept. 12, 2011. A man put down $250 on both bets and at the end of the Cardinals’ seven-game classic against the Texas Rangers. That man won $375,000 dollars. A professional gambler, Vegas Dave, once bet $100,000 at the beginning of the 2015 MLB season on the Kansas City Royals 30-1 and won $2.5 million.
Throwing a little tax return money at these longshot wagers might not be the worst idea.
Those Powerball tickets that we all buy, when the jackpot gets around $1 billion, only cost two bucks, but the competition is nearly every adult in 44 U.S. States, Puerto Rico, D.C. and the Virgin Islands. The competition for these longshot bets are one league, race, game, fight, etc.
Maybe Derrick Whittenburg recovers from his injury in 1983 and you throw $200 at North Carolina State to win the men’s basketball tournament even though they finished the regular season with a 4-10 conference record. Maybe, in 1991, three starting pitchers under the age of 25, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and Steve Avery, are primed to go on a roll and the Atlanta Braves will become the first team in the history of the National League to go from worst to first. And maybe, in 2016 University of Maryland Baltimore County plays perpetually disappointing Virginia in the men’s basketball tournament, and becomes the first-ever 16 seed to defeat a No. 1.
Sure these are the best trained athletes in the world, but if those people record a hit on 30 percent of their at bats or make 50 percent of their shot attempts as a leading scorer, they go to the Hall of Fame. That’s a lot of room for error.
There are many options on how to spend a tax return. There’s vacations, cars, rental properties, and even gold-dusted cheeseburgers. Why not take a small bit of that extra dough, do some research, listen to that old gut that never stops whispering in your ear, and take a flyer on a huge underdog.
Maybe there’s a Mike White out there waiting to win you a Tesla.