James Adducci from Wisconsin said placing money on Tiger Woods to win the 2019 Masters was his first-ever bet
On Sunday, Woods, 43, won the coveted green jacket (his fifth one!) after four days of play at Augusta National, earning his first major victory in 11 years. The star, who previously won the Masters in 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2005, took home $2.01 million.
And Woods’ Masters win made one gambler $1.2 million richer.
James Adducci from Wisconsin placed an $85,000 bet at SLS Casino’s William Hill U.S. sportsbook in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Woods to win at 14-1 odds, according to ESPN, which also reported that it was the first bet ever placed by Adducci at William Hill.
Adducci, who traveled back to Vegas on Monday, received a check for $1.275 million, which is his original stake plus the payout of $1.19 million, the largest single golf ticket in the company’s history in the U.S.
“In that moment that he won, and I won, what was the most special for me, and it’s why I placed the bet in the first place, was just seeing him share that victory with his kids,” Adducci, 39, told CBS News.
“To me, he is a real guy with superhuman golf abilities, and in that moment, he had something with his kids that he’s never had before,” he said.
William Hill’s CEO, Joe Asher, even had to authorize Adducci’s bet.
“I didn’t know, really, that this was a lot to bet on golf,” Adducci said. “When I said how much I was looking to bet, it just kind of was laughable. I didn’t know what was happening.”
Calling Woods’ win a “story for the ages,” Asher told CBS News that Adducci’s story is just as remarkable. “Tiger climbs back to the top, and a guy from Wisconsin, on his first sports bet ever, wins over $1 million betting on him,” he said.
Though Adducci’s wallet will be significantly larger, William Hill is feeling bittersweet about the payout.
“Pretty good first bet,” William Hill U.S. director of trading Nick Bogdanovich said in a statement obtained by ESPN.
“It’s great to see Tiger back. It’s a painful day for William Hill — our biggest loss ever — but a great day for golf,” Bogdanovich said.
Other sportsbooks, even outside of Vegas, may have underestimated Woods’ odds.
Offshore sportsbook, BetOnline.ag, had its biggest loss ever on a futures market due to Woods’ win, according to Golf.com.
New Jersey-based company BetStars also experienced its largest loss with a total of $360,000 payout. “I believe my direct quote was, ‘Guys, there’s no way Tiger is winning this tournament.’ Whoops,” Matthew Primeaux, senior vice president of strategy and operations for BetStars, told ESPN.