Sports betting has been widely recognized as one of the finest forms of gambling. It requires knowledge of the sport, statistics, mathematics, and more. It’s a lot more than simply relying on luck and waiting for the slot machine to give you a jackpot. Also, betting on the outcome of the match you’re watching adds a certain weight to the match therefore making it more interesting. Well, some people have made this habit far more interesting and lucrative than the others. During the 20th and 21st century there have been a couple of guys who have made sports betting a lot more than casual fun. Those guys made some serious cash which made betting their life’s calling. Today, we’re going to talk about them and have a few more honorable mentions. Without further ado, let’s get started.
1. William Billy Walters
Let us start this list with arguably the most famous and successful sports bettor of all time. Also known as the Don, Billy Walters is known to have ‘bet more money more successfully than anyone in history’. It is estimated that the Don has made over 300 million dollars in his lifetime. With that being said, you’d imagine a man who wins that often would be a regular in a Las Vegas casino, flaunting their wealth and so on, but that was not the case. Billy would rarely go out and place the bets himself. He had, what is in the betting world called a runner, that would place the bet for him. To be fair, there were a lot of runners placing bets for him. It’s not known whether the reason he didn’t do it himself was the fact that he wanted to be completely out of it and keep focused, or the casinos wanted nothing to do with him.
Whatever the case may be, one could argue that the distancing is what made him more focused and a better bettor. To be honest, there’s not a lot that we know of his method. He never spoke about it too much publicly so everyone just assumes he’s either luckiest person to ever exist. However, the luck wasn’t long-lasting and Billy was convicted for insider training in 2017 and is currently serving his sentence.
2. Ben Parlay Patz
Even though Parley Patz seems like a nickname you’d give to a local dude always betting on insane parlays in hopes of striking big and changing his life, it’s a pretty spot-on nickname for what Ben Patz did in his day. To be fair, in his day might not be the right expression, given the fact that Ben is in his early 20s and he rose to fame just a year ago, but you’ll see why it’s somewhat appropriate. Patz was a fan of online betting and he rose to fame by making over million dollars in under just two months in 2019. He made it by hitting the 10+ leg parleys that had huge payouts, hence the nickname. This made him one of the most prominent figures in sports betting in quite a short time.
However, things took turn for the worse this year when Ben was accused and then charged with threatening the lives of over 300 athletes. Patz confessed in the hopes of getting the lighter sentence, but it’s safe to say his days as a betting prodigy are over. It’s sad when you think about how all he had to do was place online bets on places like this website and keep on winning but instead, he threatened people and wound up in jail.
3. Haralabos Bob Voulgaris
During the late 90s, a man called Haralabos Voulgaris was considered to be the greatest NBA bettor of all time. Which is, when you think about it, a pretty hard title to come by considering how unpredictable NBA is. So, how did he do it? Well, back in the late 90s, when Bob was only 25, he made millions off of the mistake bookmakers made. This man has recognized the error in the books and made a fortune off of it. Namely, he bet on the halftime scores. He saw an opening when he recognized the fact that the bookmakers didn’t account for the late-game scoring bursts, so they only cut the final number in half when setting the lines. He was betting millions of dollars daily until they eventually caught their mistake.
Unlike the previously mentioned gentlemen, Bob did not end up in jail. He became a professional poker player, and a pretty successful one at that, and has continued living a normal life.
4. Tony the Lizard
Anthony Grant Bloom or Tony the Lizard is someone who has lived a pretty surreal life as a sports bettor. He had started his gambling journey by playing poker and winning several million before moving on to sports betting. Unlike the rest of our mentions, Tony didn’t just place bets and keep on winning, he actually made a company that makes money by betting on sports. Nobody knows the method or anything about the company other than the fact that it is so successful that Tony nowadays owns Brighton and Hove Albion FC. It’s assumed that Tony’s company is worth more than a billion dollars nowadays.
5. Michael Jordan
Yes, the Air Mike, 6-time NBA Champion, and Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan. Arguably the greatest basketball player to ever lace them up, he was pretty much the opposite of that as the sports bettor. The only reason he’s our honorable mention is, well, he’s Michael Jordan. It is said that MJ has lost millions of dollars during his gambling days. One time, Mike lost a million-dollar betting on a round of golf. Aside from betting a lot of money and losing most of the time, nothing else is special about Mike’s betting career. Luckily, Michael has left the betting days behind him and had become the world’s first billionaire athlete a few years back.
These are by no means all of the world’s successful and famous bettors, just a few of the interesting ones. With the proper system and methods, we may be seeing some new faces in the following years.