ESPN – Almost every day, Derek Stevens likes to stop at the sportsbook at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, located between the two properties he owns, to plunk down a bet.
On Dec. 5, Stevens walked in and told sportsbook director Tony Miller that he wanted to make a bet on Michigan State to win it all and to make sure that if he did win, he’d win $1 million.
Despite Stevens’ being a regular customer, Miller’s sportsbook doesn’t accept bets that could cause such a colossal loss, so he called up his boss, Tilman Fertitta, who owns the Golden Nugget, to approve the bet.
“In my nine years at this sportsbook, I never accepted a bet that could result in us paying $1 million,” Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino sportsbook director Tony Miller said.
It was a relatively smooth conversation. The Spartans were at 50-1 to win it all at the time, having just lost their third game of the young, eight-game season to Notre Dame.
So Miller accepted Stevens’ $20,000 bet, never thinking he’d be sweating the possibility that the Spartans could pull it off.
“In my nine years at this sportsbook, I never accepted a bet that could result in us paying $1 million,” Miller said. “The most I’ve ever seen won here was a $100,000 parlay.”
Stevens, who owns The D and Golden Gate hotels in downtown Las Vegas, said he didn’t see anything particularly special; he is just a fan and felt like getting aggressive.
“I bet $1,000 on an NFL game,” said Stevens, who attended the University of Michigan but said he also pulls for the Spartans. “I don’t do bets this big.”
I like blogging these big bets when I see them because it’s always cool when somebody hits on a big long shot bet but it’s way, way less cool when said bettor is a hotel owner in Vegas. No shit this guy is throwing 20k around on a whim, he has millions and millions of dollars. Not to say that 20 thousand dollars isn’t still 20 thousands dollars but this guy putting down a 20k bet is basically the equivalent of me putting down a 20 dollar bet. So I’m kind of rooting for this guy to lose now (completely out of jealousy because I’m not rich and want to make 20k bets like nothing). That and the fact that he went to Michigan and claims he “also pulls for the Spartans”. How is that possible? I know the Michigan/Ohio St. rivalry is bigger than Michigan/MSU but at the same time I don’t know how this could possibly work. This guy’s suspect at best and I don’t like it. Go Duke.