The 25 Biggest and Most Monumental Sports Betting Wins Ever
Everyone dreams of winning a six-figure payout from their favourite pastime. Here’s a reminder that anything is possible! We’re listing the biggest and most exciting sports betting wins that have ever taken place.
Table of Content:
Biggest Betting Wins Of All Time
Sports betting has come a long way – from the days when horse races were reserved for those of an upper social class, to the unending list of online bookies found nowadays. In fact, the first online betting platforms only originated towards the end of the 90s – and look at the many options now! One can only imagine what the world of sports betting has yet to introduce…
It certainly has increased in popularity over recent years – and why wouldn’t it? Not only is sports betting an incredibly exciting hobby to take up, but the chances of earning a substantial amount of money make it all the more enjoyable! Moreover, sports betting is often regarded as one of the easiest types of betting as anyone willing to expand on their passion for sports may give it a go.
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List of All-Time Largest Sports Betting Wins
Looking for some inspiration as you place your next bet? Here’s a list of some of the largest sports betting wins of all time:
25. Adrian Hayward – £25,000 on a £200 bet
In 2005, Liverpool fan Adrian Hayward bet £200 on midfielder Xabi Alonso that he would score from his own half at odds of 125-1. Alonso did not disappoint, and in 2006, when Liverpool played against Luton Town in the FA Cup’s third round, he scored a goal on the opposite end of the field in the closing minutes. The goal resulted in Liverpool’s 5-3 win, and Adrian Hayward gained a whopping £25,000.
“I've been a Liverpool supporter for 26 years and I noticed last season that Alonso attempted shooting from his own half quite a few times. I couldn't get it out of my head that he would eventually score like it,” Adrian excitedly revealed.
“Since placing the bet, I've always had a vision in my mind that it would come when the opposing keeper came out for a corner in a cup game. I couldn't believe it when Luton got a corner and the keeper started to run upfield….I thought I was going to pass out. When it went in, I went crazy.”
24. Anonymous punters – $76,000 on a $0.10 bet
Two unnamed punters in Saratoga Springs, USA, bet $0.10 on a superfecta, which refers to predicting the first four horses to come in and naming their exact order. As one can imagine, the odds are high – with the winner being an 88/1 outsider. Naturally, the punters’ $76,000 (around £58,000) win came as a surprise after having correctly forecast the outcome.
23. Tayla Polia – $105,000 on a $5 bet
Tayla Polia successfully bet on 20,000-to-1 odds for a 15-leg NFL parlay, with minimal previous betting experience. In fact, Tayla claims she had only placed one bet prior to her infamous win! Her picks were Vikings -5, Falcons +3, Texans +1, Chiefs -8, Redskins +1, Patriots -14, Cardinals -4, Giants +5, Seahawks -14, Packers -3, Chargers -2, Steelers -6, Steelers/ Broncos over 45, Bengals -4, and Lions +3. Her accurate bets won her an exciting $105,000 (around £80,000) with William Hill.
22. Gerry Mcllroy – £100,000 on a £200 bet
In 2004, Gerry Mcllroy confidently bet that his son and golfer Rory Mcllroy, then aged 15, would win the British Open within ten years at odds of 500-1. Gerry’s friends soon followed suit and also placed bets on Rory’s golfing skills, which led to a payout of £100,000 to Gerry and £80,000 to his friends. Rory’s success was achieved by two shots over Spain’s Sergio Garcia and the U.S.’ Rickie Fowler.
“Although we're facing heavy losses, we can't help but admire the foresight of Rory's dad and his pals a decade ago,” said Ladbrokes spokeswoman Jessica Bridge.
21. Nicholas Newlife – £101,840 on a £1,520 bet
When one thinks of the biggest wins in sports betting, Nicholas Newlife’s story never fails to come to mind. After watching Roger Federer in 2003 Wimbledon, Nicholas predicted and bet on his future successes – and sure enough, Federer’s seventh Wimbledon win took place almost a decade later. However, Newlife passed away in 2009 and never got to enjoy his win, which was instead directed towards a poverty charity called Oxfam, just like all of his belongings.
20. Peter Edwards – £125,000 on a £50 bet
Harry Wilson became a successful football player at the tender age of 16. Just 15 years prior, his grandfather, 62-year-old Peter Edwards, foresaw the unforeseeable and bet that his grandson would eventually represent Wales as a professional footballer. Wilson sure didn’t let his grandfather down, who retired happily upon his grandson’s win.
19. Mick Gibbs – £157,000 on a £2.50 bet
Back in 1999, Mick Gibbs forecast nine football games across Europe and was awarded an incredible £157,000 upon winning the accumulator bet. Despite this figure being an impressive one, Gibbs’ future win would still manage to top it! Keep reading to find out more…
18. Richard Hopkins – £165,000 on several bets
When Richard Hopkins of Peterborough took his son Evan go-kart racing in 1998, he could not help but notice go-kart driver Lewis Hamilton’s impressive skills. He proceeded to place several bets on him, starting with a £200 bet on Hamilton winning a Grand Prix by the age of 23 at odds 300. He then placed a bet of £100 on Hamilton winning the World Championship by the age of 25 at odds 500, and an additional £50 on both the predictions to take place at odds 1,500. A decade later, Hamilton won his first Formula 1 World Championship and Hopkins earned an astounding £165,000.
17. Vegas Dave – $200,000 on a $20,000 bet
Dave Oancea, a renowned gambler from Las Vegas, enjoyed a record month in November 2015 due to being responsible for two of the biggest betting wins in sports gambling. One of the two took place at UFC 193, where Oancea successfully bet on Holly Holm beating Ronda Rousey on 11-1 odds and won $200,000 (just over £150,000).
16. Anonymous punter – $250,000 on a $8,500 bet
An unnamed MGM Resorts sports book bettor enjoyed one victorious NFL weekend in 2017 after hitting on five legs of an $8,500 parlay. The Detroit Lions accounted for the fifth leg, beating the New York Giants with a score of 24-10. With a final $250,000 (around £191,000) awarded, it is safe to say that this bettor must have felt triumphant!
15. Anonymous punter – £200,000 on a £100 bet
Leicester City winning the Premier League in 2015 is a story that won’t easily be forgotten. The 5000/1 underdogs shocked many with their victory, but one anonymous punter sure had his day made, obtaining £200,000 from his bet!
14. Anonymous punter – $305,375 on a $5 bet
2016 was a lucky year for one Las Vegas resident at William Hill sports book, which requires a $5 weekly entry free for participation. The bettor correctly selected 12 basketball winners on a parlay card throughout one weekend and chose two NBA winners, being the Detroit Pistons and the Golden State Warriors. The total figure amounted to $305,375 (around £233,000).
13. Erick Lindgren – $340,000 on a bet placed by other professional players
Erick Lindgren was not new to the world of professional poker, but this win certainly outdid his previous! A few professional players once bet that Lindgren would not manage to play four straight rounds of golf in one day in Las Vegas’ boiling climate while carrying his own clubs and shooting below a 100 in each round from the pro tees. Amazingly, Lindgren succeeded and won $340,000 (about £259,000).
12. Anonymous punter – $375,000 on a $500 bet
An anonymous bettor placed two bets at the MGM sports book in Las Vegas before the 2011 MLB season. He initially wagered $250 on the St. Louis Cardinals winning the National League pennant, and then bet an additional $250 on them winning the World Series later in the year. His hopes were satisfied when St. Louis did indeed win, and the bettor enjoyed a total of $375,000 (about £286, 000).
11. Phil Mickelson – $560,000 on a $20,000 bet
Professional golfer Phil Mickelson had high hopes for the Baltimore Ravens at the Super Bowl, even before the 2000 NFL season. After observing Baltimore’s 6-2 success in the previous season, Mickelson formed a betting syndicate and bet $20,000 at 22/1 odds, earning $560,000 (about £426,000) in return!
10. Mick Gibbs – £500,000 on a £0.30 bet
Mick Gibbs, a roofer by profession, has found himself on our list for the second time! Just two years after his first big win, Gibbs chose to put down 30 pence on a 15-leg accumulator bet with astonishing odds of 1,666,666/1. Gibbs predicted the first 14 games correctly, with the final Champions League match between Bayern Munich and Valencia ending in penalties, and Bayern Munich’s goalkeeper making a move that won Gibbs a substantial figure!
9. Darren Yates – £550,000 on a £62 bet
Darren Yates placed a fantastic bet in 1996 that would see him become a big name in horse racing. The great win, often referred to as the ‘magnificent seven’, took place when Yates successfully wagered £62 on jockey Frankie Dettorri winning all seven of his rides on that day at Ascot.
8. Anonymous punter – £585,000 on an £0.80 bet
In November 2011, an anonymous punter from Malta bet 80 pence through William Hill on a 19-match accumulator with odds of 683,738/1. All predictions were correct and ended with Liverpool scoring a winning goal in the last few minutes before closing, beating Chelsea and earning this punter a win he’ll never forget.
7. Charles Barkley – $800,000 on a $500,000 bet
NBA Champion Charles Barkley boasts an easily remembered name in sports betting. He was not new to big wins, but the greatest of all took place when he wagered on the New England Patriots winning the Super Bowl – which was thought to be unlikely at that time, given that they were a 14-point underdog against the St. Louis Rams in 2002. Upon their win, which would be Tom Brady’s first of many, Barkley gained a monumental $800,000 (about £608,000).
6. James Adducci – $1.2 million on an $85,000 bet
James Adducci’s bet on Tiger Woods is one that will go down in history as a bold, yet highly rewarding move. Woods’ 2019 Masters Victory was his first key championship win in 11 years, and choosing to bet $85,000 on a golfer who had not won a championship in that long sounds incredibly risky to most of us! Adducci certainly knew what he was doing, though – as his brave initiative paid off, bringing in $1.2 million (about £760,000) and breaking William Hill’s record for the largest ever individual payout on a futures bet.
5. Mike Futter – £800,000 on betting his own horse
Mike Futter’s name isn’t unheard of in the betting industry – but this one major win increased his recognition tenfold. In 2003, Futter gambled his own horse: Monty’s Pass. The horse did not let him down, and Fetter was awarded £348,000 for being Monty’s Pass owner, and then over an additional £400,000 for successfully betting on his horse from 40/1 down to 16/1 odds.
“I've had some fantastic bets and fantastic days but this is one I will never forget,” said a delighted Futter.
4. Fred Craggs – £1 million on a £0.50 bet
Fred Craggs, a 60-year-old fertiliser salesman from Yorkshire, one day placed a bet that would change his life and allow him to be remembered as one of the most renowned names in sports betting. Craggs wagered a mere 50 pence on an eight-fold accumulator, making smart choices on horse races around the globe, and received a whopping seven-figure amount in return. Funnily enough, Craggs wasn’t even aware of his win until returning to the bookmaker for another hand at gambling – and he would have earned a total of £1.4 million, if only he had chosen a no-limit bet. Still not too bad of a prize, right?
3. Steve Whiteley – £1.5 million on a £2 bet
Steve Whiteley, a 61-year-old heating engineer, enjoyed a truly successful bet in 2011, when he made use of a free ticket to enjoy the horse races and placed a £2 bet. Whiteley correctly chose the six horses on that day, one of which had lost in all of its 28 races in the past, and benefited from £1.5 million.
2. Vegas Dave – $2.5 million on a $140,000 bet
Do you remember when we wrote of Dave Oancea and his record-breaking 2015? His second successful win happened one week into the 2015 MLB season, when Oancea bet on the Kansas City Royals to win the World Series at 30/1 odds. His $140,000 bet required quite the effort, after having to be split across 15 different casinos as they wouldn’t take on his liability. In fact, many presumed him crazy for the risk he was about to take but it ultimately paid off, with the Kansas City Royals defeating the New York Mets. Oancea enjoyed a $2.5 million prize (about £1.9 million).
1. Billy Walters – a successful $3.5 million bet
We’re concluding our list with Billy Walters and his massive win seen in 2010, when the New Orleans Saints played against the Indianapolis Colts at the Super Bowl XLIV. Walters began his journey in gambling through playing poker, prior to taking on sports betting. He has successfully earned gigantic figures and is known for a record-breaking winning streak, which verifies that sports betting is not simply for the fortunate, but does indeed require skill. After some careful consideration, Walter placed a successful $3.5 million (about £2.7 million) bet on the New Orleans Saints, who were also the underdogs. They won their first ever Super Bowl against the Colts by 31-17.
The above figures are all truly impressive and prove that determination and skill can help you achieve even the greatest of ambitions! Naturally, there are plenty of other sports bettors who despite only having won smaller figures so far, still build a spectacular career out of their hard work. Hoping to start up your dream career in sports betting? Read one of our other articles for some helpful betting tips.