This punter’s risk paid off big time.
This punter’s risk paid off big time.

Punter’s miraculous $1.8 million windfall

IF ANYONE had as good a Sunday as Tiger Woods, it was James Adducci.

Who is James Adducci?

He's the 39-year-old Wisconsin day trader who had a premonition so strong that Tiger Woods was going to win the Masters that he made his first sports bet - a whopping $AUD118,000 in cash at 14-1 odds.

The result was a $1.78 million payout, the largest golf payout in William Hill sportsbook history.

Adducci, who has $35,000 in debt on a mortgage, student loans and car loans, flew to Las Vegas and threw down the bet on Woods last Tuesday.

His hunch paid off Monday, when William Hill presented him with a check for $1.78 million - his initial bet plus a $1.66 million payday.

The wager was "everything I had that I could afford to lose," Adducci told Golf Digest. "I just thought it was predestined for him to win."

Funded by the sale of some Amazon stock, Adducci took a backpack full of cash from a Las Vegas bank to the William Hill sportsbook in the SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino in an Uber, sitting alongside a mother and daughter on the way in order to "save $2".

"This is a story for the ages," said Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US. "Tiger climbs back to the top, and a guy from Wisconsin, on his first sports bet ever, wins over $1 million betting on him. We congratulate both James and Tiger on their epic wins."

Adducci watched the tournament with his 82-year-old father, never doubting his pick even as Woods struggled through the first five holes in the final round. Woods pulled off a one-stroke win at Augusta, finishing 13-under to win his fifth green jacket and his first in 15 years, celebrating by embracing his children, mother, and girlfriend in a heartfelt moment after sinking the winning putt for major win No. 15.

Things were perhaps a little more hectic in the Adducci household, even if his father didn't understand the personal magnitude of the win.

"Golf was so special for my dad and I," he said. "To see Tiger win a major tournament for the first time in front of his kids meant a lot to me."

There are already some plans in the works for the massive windfall - aside from his father's request for some frozen custard. Adducci and his wife, who had little opposition to his big bet - "She said to me, 'I can't stop you from doing this, because if he wins, I'll never forgive myself'. She's a keeper." - will pay off most of their debts and invest in some new garage doors.

Whatever is left over won't go to waste, either.

"I'm a responsible guy," he said. "My background is finance. I'm going to invest most of it. And we're going to grow it."

While Woods still has some work to do in catching up to Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors, his late-career rally has finally come back into focus. Next up is the PGA Championship in May, the US Open in June and the British Open in July.

The man who bet on him to win and won big? Well his comeback story is just getting started, too.

This article first appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission



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