Although baseball is still known as the pastime of America, MLB’s popularity has declined in the past 20 years, falling behind the NFL in revenue. Still, sports betting in NJ and elsewhere has as rich a history as baseball. Here are three of the biggest baseball sports betting winnings.
- Dave Oancea’s Royals Victory
Dave “Vegas” Oancea may be selling baseball cards for millions now, but he started with humble baseball bets. With time, they started getting bigger. He placed a huge one on the World Series after just one week of 2015 MLB action. The Kansas City Royals won their first seven games. However, he was the only one to recognize the massive opportunity as an event of this kind certainly wasn’t unheard of.
Despite the extreme risk, he opted for odds of 30/1, which would have yielded a good return on even a small bet. The point is that he didn’t make a small bet – he spread almost $150,000 over several sportsbooks in Las Vegas. The Royals faced off the New York Mets after the regular season and playoffs, winning five games, and Dave cashed out the impressive $2.5 million.
- Anonymous Bettor grabs $375K from St. Louis Cardinals Game
In 2011, the St. Louis Cardinals miraculously defeated the Texas Rangers in the sixth game, leading to a tie of 3-3. Inexplicably, the Rangers’ luck turned in the seventh one, after the local press had already proclaimed them as World Series champions. The title ultimately went to the Cardinals, who won Game 7.
They made their dream come true, and not only theirs. An insightful gambler, who was never identified, placed two highly lucrative bets at the MGM sportsbook in Vegas. They were just $250 each: the first on a National League victory for St. Louis and the second for the World Series title. Together, the clandestine bettor netted $375,000 – an amazing return on investment by anyone’s standards.
- The Biggest Win in Sports Betting History
The third winning is not only the biggest in the history of baseball but also in any sport in the world. The LA Dodgers played against the Houston Astros in the 2017 World Series. Another unidentified bettor won a relatively big wager on Game 1, then proceeded to win in the second game as well. But the industrious punter wasn’t done. His team won five straight game bets in the series. Then, he bet another relatively high amount – $8 million – on a Dodgers victory in the sixth game of the series.
The person was either extremely brave or extremely wealthy, but most likely both. The Dodgers won 3-1, bringing the secretive gambler a win of $14 million. Nobody ever found out who the mystery bettor was. Rumor has it that they live in Eastern Europe. Either way, he must have enviable stamina because a bet of that size certainly requires nerves of steel.
The outcome wasn’t as positive for everyone involved. Apart from marking the biggest sports betting win in history, the 2017 World Series became implicated in a scandal of gigantic proportion. It emerged that the Houston Astros had tried to rig the games. A former player went on record saying they used technology to cheat not only during the World Series, but also throughout the season.
In the wake of the fallout, a number of key executives and managers lost their jobs. Houston suffered a series of harsh penalties short of losing their title. They paid a huge fine and lost many valuable draft picks. Arguably, though, it could have been worse. The MLB ultimately didn’t suspend any players.