Improbable sports bet!

 Perhaps one of the most improbable sports bets, winning or losing, struck in recent years was the $85,000 placed on Tiger Woods to win the 2019 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Notwithstanding the fact that Woods was attempting to win his first major championship since the 2008 US Open, the bet was all the more remarkable for the circumstances under which it was placed.

The bettor in question was James P. Adducci, a 39-year-old Wisconsin man who lived with his ailing 82-year-old father and had never before placed a sports bet. Nevertheless, Adducci sold $55,000 of Amazon shares to raise his stake money and, after being ‘knocked back’ by two other bookmakers, was finally accommodated at 14/1, for the full $85,000, by William Hill.

The rest, as they say, is history. Tiger Woods won his fifth Green Jacket, despite a bogey on the final hole, yielding a profit of $1.19 million for the intrepid Adducci. Not satisfied with the largest golf payout in company history, shortly before the PGA Championship, in May, Adducci placed $100,000 on Tiger Woods to complete the Grand Slam by winning the PGA Championship, US Open and Open Championship at odds of 100/1. The potential payout was $10 million, but the excitement was short-lived as Woods shot 72, 73 in the first two rounds of the PGA Championship to miss the cut by a single stroke.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Adducci originally trained as a commodities trader, but although he described himself as a ‘day trader’, he also confessed to having been $25,000 in debt. He never really explained, at least not adequately, the rationale behind his apparently ‘crazy’ behaviour, but lack of experience certainly proved no hindrance to his success.

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