Syracuse’s winning streak might have wrecked your NCAA bracket, but at least one fan stands to win $100,000 if the school pulls off a championship upset.
One gambler at the Westgate SuperBook placed a $100 bet on Syracuse back on Jan. 13, when the Las Vegas casino offered 1,000-to-1 odds against the Orange winning the tournament. At the time it wasn’t even certain Syracuse would be invited to play in the tournament, so placing the bet took an awful lot of faith.
But Syracuse did get a last-minute invite to March Madness. And the team won its first four games, making it the first No. 10 seed to advance to the Final Four in more than 30 years.
If Syracuse continues its string of upsets and wins the championship, that bettor in Vegas will take home $100,100.
Jay Kornegay, head of the sports book at Westgate, said he doesn’t recall ever having a 1,000 to 1 bet pay off. And he doesn’t seem worried about having to pay this one off, pointing out that Syracuse has “two very tough games ahead of them.”
There are three other bets on Syracuse at the same 1,000-to-1 odds, but together they only total $35. That means those three fans will split $35,035 if Syracuse wins.
Nevada in the only state where sports betting is legal. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is one of the most popular betting events in the U.S. A total of $9.2 billion is expected wagered on NCAA brackets this year, according to the American Gaming Association.
That’s more than consumers spend on Mega Millions and Powerball tickets combined in an entire year.