HomeSportsThe Largest Sports Bet Ever – $8 Million on the Dodgers to Win Game 6 of the 2017 World Series
The Largest Sports Bet Ever – $8 Million on the Dodgers to Win Game 6 of the 2017 World Series
September 2, 2019
October 30, 2017 was an interesting day for Las Vegas sportsbooks. The World Series was about to go to Game 6 with the Astros up in the series over the Dodgers 3-2. The Series was coming back to L.A. and one man, never identified publicly, had some money burning a hole in his pocket.
About one week earlier, a man described by sportsbook executives as Eastern European walked into one of the local bookmakers with $400,000. Some sources say it was the MGM, others say it was South Point, what everyone seems to agree on is that he took the money line on L.A. for game one of the World Series….for all $400k.
When the dust settled in one of the fastest World Series games played in the last 10 years, the young Eastern European man had won his bet, getting back from the sportsbook enough money to travel the world for years.
The man had other plans.
Over the next week, he essentially played a game of “double or nothing” (though not quite as he bet the favorite most of the time) with Las Vegas sportsbooks. He dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars at nearly a dozen books around town. Every single one of his bets was a winner. Dodgers, Astros, Astros, Dodgers, Astros – in that order, betting it all on every game eventually earning him the nickname of the “Let It Ride” gambler.
An individual making enormous wagers isn’t unheard of by any means. On any given night, Online and Vegas sportsbooks can expect to see a handful of five figure bets. During big events, six figure bets do pop up from time to time. The type of person making these six figure bets usually fall into one of two groups: wealthy individuals looking to have some fun or someone working for a betting syndicate.
For those looking to bet for fun, they may drop $100,000 on the winner of the Super Bowl. If a random person who has spent a few days partying at an elite level in Vegas shows up at a counter wanting to take a moneyline, the book is probably going to graciously accept the bet. Sometimes they’ll win, sometimes they’ll lose, to most books, one six figure bet isn’t going to affect their bottom line by a lot.
An individual working for a syndicate could be anyone. It could be the random guy walking in with a briefcase full of cash, or it could be Ashton Kutcher (as he did for awhile about 10 years ago). They’ll place bets on behalf of betting groups since their members are probably well known to the managers at the sportsbooks. By using an unknown individual, the betting groups avoid problems like lower limits, tighter lines and altogether betting bans.
What the sportsbooks faced in late October 2017 was more likely the wealthy individual than the front for the betting syndicate. A betting syndicate wouldn’t be letting everything ride as they did. Someone with a lot of money to blow might have decided to have a bit of fun and see what they could do.
After Game 5 of the 2017 World Series, the Let It Ride gambler had about $8 million. The man had correctly predicted the winner of all five games up to that point, now, he wanted to bet on Game 6.
That proved to be a tricky issue for the man with $8 million he wanted to leave in the hands of Dodgers starter Rich Hill, who already had a no-decision in Game 2, against Justin Verlander, a 6-time All Star. It’s interesting to note here the gambler actually bet on Houston as the away team with Verlander starting in Game 2. Now, he reversed sides, swinging back to L.A. at home.
According to reports, Mr. Let It Ride walked into the MGM sportsbook and wanted to put down $2.8 million. The MGM said no.
What followed would have had to have been a classic case of “more money, more problems” as he was forced to make bets in increments all across town. In the now famous case, when he walked into the South Point casino, the sportsbook (supposedly) immediately dropped the odds for the Dodgers to win as word was spreading he was on the Dodgers to win. The man had to bet in increments, allowing the sportsbook to adjust their line lower and lower with each bet. According to reports at the time, he was able to get his $8 million on the books, though spread over several different sportsbooks in the city.
The $8 million he dropped is thought to be the largest position ever taken on a sports bet. To say there was a lot riding on Game 6 for him was an understatement. After Houston had to take Game 5 into extra innings to win, he was now rooting hard against them.
When Game 6 ended, the man was $14 million richer. His $8 million bet had only netted him an additional $6 million thanks to the progressively worse odds he received from books as he made his bets, but a win is a win.
The big question at the time was “Who is he going to bet on for Game 7?”, which ended up being a moot point. He supposedly placed no bets on Game 7, walking away with $14 million. The fact that no bet was placed by the man on Game 7 likely means the $14 million was probably life-changing for him.
It almost always takes a millionaire to drop 6 figures on a game (especially $400k like he did for Game 1), but someone with hundreds of millions of dollars probably lets it ride for Game 7. However, he probably would have run into the same problem with splitting bets at sportsbooks, though now even moreso, which may have been an enormous disincentive to attempting to place the bet. He would have had less than 24 hours to put the money down, probably getting even worse lines and even smaller betting limits.
Nobody has publicly attempted to place such a giant string of bets since the Eastern European man disappeared. Inevitably, someone is going to come along and beat his $8 million bet.