Million Dollar Payday

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Family was the inspiration for James Adducci when he decided to wager $85,000 on Tiger Woods to win the Masters.

“My motivation to bet on him was to win in front of his kids,” the 39-year-old Wisconsinite said on Monday at SLS Las Vegas. “It was really symbolic that I’m sitting with my dad, and (Woods is) doing his thing with his kids — and previously his dad.

“I’m sitting with my dad,” Adducci said. “He’s 82. He’s been through a lot of health issues. I’m screaming every time something good happens. We’re Italian; we’re loud.”

On Monday, Adducci, who bet on Woods at odds of 14-1, was presented with a check Monday for more than $1.2 million by Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill U.S., and Paul Hobson, general manager at SLS. Adducci said he hopes Woods heard about the bet.

“I just hope it gave him the confidence that people believe in him that much — that he’s back,” Adducci said.

Check Out the 2019 Betting odds to win the PGA Championship

Adducci said he started to feel confident when Francesco Molinari, who was playing in Woods’ group, hit his tee shot into the water and took a double bogey on the par-3 12th hole. Woods made par on the hole.

“(Molinari) played flawless golf for three days and nine holes. When that one went in the water, I knew something was going to happen,” Adducci said. “Just the aura of Tiger Woods and the ability that he has. To not only do what he has to do, but other people just magically fall apart in his presence. It’s unexplainable. It’s just greatness on the course.”

Sunday was a great day for Woods, who completed one of the greatest comebacks in the history of sports, and for Adducci, who became a millionaire.

For sportsbooks, however, it was a day to forget.

FanDuel Group said it lost $2 million on the Masters, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lost nearly $100,000, its biggest-ever loss on the Masters.

It was the fourth seven-figure payout William Hill U.S. has made. The first three were tied to the Philadelphia Eagles’ win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

“By far this the largest golf bet we’ve ever had — the amount wagered and the amount paid out,” Mike Grodsky, William Hill’s vice president of marketing, said. “And that’s not only William Hill in Nevada, but William Hill throughout the 85 years in Europe, as well. It’s the largest golf payout ever.”

Grodsky predicted Woods’ return to the top would create more fan interest and wagering activity, especially in the other three major tournaments, the PGA Championship, which was moved from September to May this season, the U.S. Open and the British Open.

Woods’ win on Sunday, his fifth at Augusta, was 15th major championship of his career but the first in 11 years.

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About the Author

Ched Whitney

Ched Whitney has been a journalist in Las Vegas since 1994. He worked for the Las Vegas Review-Journal for 18 years, where he was the paper’s art director for 12. Since becoming a freelancer in 2012, his work has appeared at ESPN.com, AOL, The Seattle Times and UNLV Magazine, among others. ​

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