The Wildest Payouts in the History of Sports Betting

As a multibillion-dollar business, sports betting is incredibly popular and is set to become a global craze. It gained popularity for solid reasons. One is purely for entertainment. Bettors enjoy the thrill and excitement that it provides.

According to statistics, 60% of American adults over 18 participated in gambling in 2021, and about 85% have done so at least once.

Furthermore, between 2023 and 2030, the worldwide sports betting industry is anticipated to rise from its current value of $83.65 billion at a compound annual growth rate of 10.3%. This equates to a market worth over a billion dollars every year. Now that we’re on money let’s recall some of the most heavily wagered games and insane payouts for the winning bettors.

Billy Walters’ Super Bowl Win

At the young age of 9, Walters got his start in the gambling market by putting his paper route earnings on the New York Yankees to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1955 World Series. After losing the bet after the Dodgers won the game, Walters continued to gamble.

Walters kept bet on the NBA, the NFL, and college football. Super Bowl XLIV was a huge win for Walters, who placed a bet on the New Orleans Saints and collected a $3.5 million payout. Because of his notoriety, Walters frequently used “runners” to place bets on his behalf, hiding his identity from bookies.

Mick Gibbs’ 15-Fold Accumulator Win

In 2001, Mick Gibbs, a roofer from Staffordshire, won £500,000 after betting 30p on a bet at odds of 1.6 million to one. With a 0.0000006% probability of winning, the 15-fold accumulator comprised several outright winners and individual games from 2000 and 2001.

The National League, then known as the Conference National, the Cricket’s County Championship, the  Rugby Union’s Premiership, and the four English football leagues,  were all accurately predicted by Gibbs.

Steve Whiteley’s Tote’s Win

Heating engineer Steve Whiteley bagged the rollover jackpot at Exeter’s last leg after backing the 12-1 long-shot Lupita. Whiteley, a 61-year-old resident of North Tawton, only bet two pounds on the race and attends the track twice a year. He even got free admission to the track.

Whiteley won £1,445,671.71 after spending two pounds on the Tote’s popular jackpot bet. In a Tote bet rolling over for over a week, the heating engineer did what no other bettor could— correctly predicted each of the six winners to win the jackpot.

Tayla Polia’s Parlay Win

Tayla Polia, a new resident of Las Vegas who had reportedly never placed a wager before and who didn’t know how the spread operated, struck it rich when she wagered only $5 on a 15-leg parlay that returned $100,000. That was her second wager ever, and she won big by betting the over and covering the 14-point spread on the Steelers and Broncos match on a mobile betting site nomini nz.

Given that it’s challenging enough to win a parlay with even three or four distinct legs, the fact that this one had 15 legs makes it one of the largest parlay returns ever reported.

Dave Oancea’s World Series

Dave Oancea, aka “Vegas Dave,” moved from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Las Vegas, hoping to succeed in the casino industry. Dave endured years of big winnings and crushing losses before he mastered the self-control necessary to make it as a skilled gambler.

When the Kansas City Royals won the 2015 World Series, “Vegas Dave” collected $2.5 million, the highest future bet in the history of sports betting at that time.

He gambled down from 30-1 odds in week one until it went 8-1. He did it even though the Royals haven’t won the World Series in 30 years. He showed his confidence in the team by letting the bet ride despite having multiple opportunities to pay out and make $750,000 guaranteed.

Mattress Mack’s MLB Win

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, a Houston furniture mogul, expertly hedged on his store promotion and won almost $75 million. This figure may be the highest won in an official sports betting event.

With the Astros’ 4-1 win, McIngvale could be seen jumping for joy from his first-row seats at Minute Maid Park. McIngvale’s six-month betting journey came to a successful conclusion when the Astros won Game 6 of the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. In May 2022, he wagered $3 million that the Houston Astros would win the World Series.


It takes considerable expertise and objectivity to bet on sports. Bettors with in-depth familiarity with the games, teams, and individuals they back can take advantage of odds that do not accurately reflect the outcomes.

Even so, it’s probably reasonable to assert that in betting, both luck and skill matter. You can lose money in betting regardless of how skilled or lucky you are. For this reason, it’s crucial to engage in betting responsibly.

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