Vegas loves long shots. When statistics and history scream against the possibility of a miracle, Vegas can always count on the dreamers and the fools to put down cash in the hope of a once-in-a-lifetime payout. It's free money for the house, 999 times out of 1,000.
Not 1,000 times out of 1,000 though. That's why there are dreamers and fools.
At 8:16 PDT on September 12th, the Cardinals had lost 6-5 in Pittsburgh, and the Braves were in the 12th inning of their game against Florida—a game they would lose, but hadn't yet at the moment a man walked up to a sports book teller at the MGM Grand. St. Louis was five games back of the wild card with 15 games yet to play, and at least one oddsmaker decided the Cardinals' chances of winning a World Series were a thousand to one against.
One unidentified St. Louisan put down $250 on the Cardinals making the World Series at 500/1, and another $250 on them winning the whole thing at 999/1. An unlikely late September run, an unlikelier Braves collapse, upsets of the hyped Phillies and Brewers, and he's $125,000 richer. If the Cards can win three games before they lose four, he'll pocket another $250,000. It wouldn't make him any less of a dreamer or a fool, but luckier and wealthier for it.