A life-long St. Louis Blues fan is $100,000 (£79,200) richer after an outside bet on his team making it to the playoffs.
When Scott Berry went on a work trip to Las Vegas in January, his home team, the Blues, was at the bottom of the league. But, intrigued by a possible six-figure payout, he decided to wager $400 (£317) on them winning the Stanley Cup.
It was as risky a bet as you could make. After all, the St. Louis Blues had never won the cup in its 52-year history.
Still, Berry was determined to have a flutter before he left Vegas. He bet $400 on the Blues bet at 250-1 and $100 (£79) on the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series at 15-1.
Refused to hedge
As the team started to climb in the standings, Berry’s bet looked like more of a reality. By February, they were out of last place and once March arrived they were heading to the playoffs.
By game number six of the finals, they were favorites. That’s when Berry started getting some serious offers to hedge on Propswap (a website that allows ticket holders to swap or sell bets), from $20,000 (£15,800) to $75,000 (£59,400) when the Blues went up 3-2.
But for Berry, who had followed the Blues since a youngster, any opportunity to hedge would just be bad karma for a team on a streak.
The final match
Ahead of game seven, Berry was understandably nervous. He told Action Network: “You know it’s so funny, it’s like I never in a million years thought I would be watching a game where I either am a $100,000 victor or I’m walking away with my tail between my legs. But, I’ve got all faith in these guys, I still think they’re gonna do it, they’re a better road team so tonight’s gonna be an emotional roller coaster. You’ll probably see me in tears either way.”
After a tense game, the Blues defeated the Boston Bruins by a final score of 4-1 thanks in part to star player Ryan O’Reilly, this year’s Conn Smythe trophy winner, and Bruin’s superstar goalie Tuukka Rask having an off-day. Berry’s friends reacted by spraying the lucky punter with champagne.
Now Berry is $100,000 richer, all thanks to a long-range punt on his home team. Despite not having an opportunity to spend the usual $500 (£396) he reserved for gambling, Berry found the time to shop around before the bet.
Knowing he wanted to back the St. Louis Blues to win the Stanley Cup Berry tried a number of outlets, such as the Bellagio, which had the bet at odds of 150-1. Unable to find a better deal, he quickly returned to the Paris Hotel, where he was staying, so he could take advantage of their 250-1 offering. Any other potential wins would have meant $40,000 (£31,700) less.
Sports fans will be keen to note that now that the St. Louis Blues have broken their streak for the longest-active trophy-less club, all eyes will be on the Toronto Maple Leafs. The team has gone 51 seasons without a cup win.