Delaware Sports Gambler Loses $100k Payday on Eagles Monday Night Football Comeback
A Delaware sports better would have gained $100,000 if the Indianapolis Colts beat the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football this week. The Colts vaulted to a 17-6 halftime lead, but lost 30-27 in the waning moments as the Eagles mounted a comeback. It was an all-or-nothing bet, so the gambler lost his original stake of $5.
The gambler had wagered a 15-game parlay which required him to win all bets. He had won 14 of those bets coming into Monday Night Football, which pitted two of the NFL playoff teams from last season. The 0-1 Colts were coming off a drubbing by the AFC Champion Denver Broncos, while the 1-0 Philadelphia Eagles had defeated the lowly Jacksonsville Jaguars 34-17 in Week 1. The Jags got out to a 17-0 lead in that game, before the Eagles had roared back with 34 unanswered points. Still, the Iggles had looked vulnerable in that game.
Lottery Staff Rooting for a Gambler’s Victory
Vernon Kirk, the director of the Delaware Lottery, told ESPN on Tuesday, “Honestly, we were rooting for the guy, starting with Sunday night’s game. Our risk manager told us Sunday night that only one person had hit 14 games and needed the Bears and Colts.”
Belying the idea that gambling officials want to see their customers lose, Vernon Kirk described his staff’s visceral reaction to the ups-and-downs of sports gambling. When a gambling operation loses a big bet in a lottery jackpot, progressive jackpot, or improbable sports betting parlay, it works as an advertisement to others who might play. Heavy losses paradoxically work as a kind of free publicity, if you can call losing a $100,000 wager “free”.
Mr. Kirk added, “It definitely looked like Delaware had a winner when the Colts were up 14 midway through the third quarter. Then to have the Eagles rally like that–and to win in the last three seconds of the game–it was agonizing to watch when you knew one player was so close to such a big payout.”
Sports Betting in Delaware
Delaware is one of four states which offers legal sports betting, alongside Nevada, Oregon, and Montana. Delaware’s three racetracks offer sports bets, but so do 60 different lottery terminals across the state. Therefore, the Delaware Lottery Company has its own sportsbook and offers bookmaker bets.
$100,000 Parlays Hit Very Seldom
The $5 wager, $100,000 prize has been offered by the Delaware Sports Lottery for years. Gamblers can attest that a 15-bet parlay is next-to-impossible to hit. People make the wager each week, because it’s one of the few ways somebody can possibly turn $5 into $100k. Yet the gamblers don’t honestly expect to win, any more than most lottery players expect to win the big lotto jackpot.
Actually, the odds are not quite as bad as the low probability of winning the lottery. Statisticians say the odds of winning a 15-bet spread is roughly 32,000-to-1. Thirty-two thousand people must make the wager before the odds of one hitting would be 50/50. In Week 2 of the season, the Delaware Lottery says that 4,500 gamblers made the $5, 15-team parlay bet. Consider that each NFL season has 17 weeks. In weeks 4, 9, 10, and 11, enough teams are on bye week that the 15-game bet could not be offered. In past NFL seasons, weeks 4 through 10 had such limitations, so one has to assume the Delaware Lottery has offered the wager about 10 times a season since 2011. If the Week 2 numbers hold, then the Delaware lottery won at least 90,000 straight parlay wagers, and possibly closer to 125,000 to 135,000. Thus, fans can see why lottery officials can be charitable and hope one customer wins. They’ve already made a profit several times over.
Occasionally, a win happens, though. That was enough to drive $32.5 million on the Delaware Sports Lottery in Delaware in 2013, up from $10.72 million in the 2009-2010 season–the first season for the Delaware Sports Lottery.
Eagles Rallied to Win
The Eagles rallied on a career night from Darren Sproles, the 5’6″ running back and scatback who is playing his first year for the Eagles. Sproles has been a standout for the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints previously. He was injured much of last year for the Saints and, at 31, some wondered how much production he had left. Others wondered how Darren Sproles would fit into an offensive scheme alongside Lesean McCoy, the Eagles primary running back and one of the most productive runners over the past several seasons.
On Monday night, it appeared that the Sproles/McCoy tandem would work quite nicely. Both had scores, while Sproles added over 150 yards on 7 receptions. The Colts Defense had trouble finding where Sproles was, or matching up when they did have a man on him. While people assume football is a game for the biggest and strongest, Darren Sproles present major matchup issues for teams in the open field, where they have to devote a 240-pound linebacker or a 210-pound safety to him. Few (if any) teams have a scheme which allows them to match up a cornerback against another team’s halfbacks.
Colts 2014 Season
The loss drops the Indianapolis Colts to 0-2. In Andrew Luck’s third NFL season, it was expected he might emerge as a new NFL superstar. Luck had led the Colts to the playoffs in each of his first two NFL seasons, including his rookie year, when the Colts were coming off a 2-14 season, after losing Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning before the first game. Luckily for the Colts, they play the Jaguars in Week 3, so they should have a prime opportunity to get off the schneid.
Eagles 2014 Season
The Eagles move their record to 2-0. They Eagles won the lowly NFC East in 2013, but the division is considered to be in one of its rare down periods. The NFC East is full of gloried Super Bowl champions: the Dallas Cowboys (5), the New York Giants (4), and the Washington Redskins (3). Still, the Eagles (with zero Super Bowl wins) were picked to win the division by most experts. At present, they lead the division over the 1-1 Cowboys, 1-1 Redskins, and 0-2 Giants. They get a chance to run their record to 3-0 against the Skins this weekend, who are without star quarterback, Robert Griffin III. In his place is Kirk Cousins, who some Skins fans hope becomes the every-week starter.