One very lucky smart gambler hit pay dirt last weekend when his $60 wager yielded a $41,773 payday at Bovada.lv. Even though the punter hit Bovada for a big payday, they couldn’t resist but share the good news on Twitter with a screenshot of the unidentified gambler’s winning ticket:
Check out this unbelievable parlay from one of our players!?? He wagered $60 to win $41,773!? What's your biggest payout!? pic.twitter.com/EnJyPgy4Oo
— Bovada Official (@BovadaLV) April 11, 2017
What you’re seeing above is a 2-leg parlay that involved picking the winners of two different golf tournaments. In this case, the gambler picked Rickie Fowler to win the 2017 Honda Classic and Sergio Garcia to win the 2017 Masters. Both golfers did indeed come through for the win to give the bettor a win big enough to make the news.
The bet in question was a parlay, which is a type of sports bet that involves picking multiple outcomes in separate betting events. Parlays offer significantly higher payouts than betting on different events individually because every leg in a parlay must win for the wager as a whole to win. If just a single leg fails to deliver, the bet is a loser.
Typically, even parlay wagers only offer such insane payouts when they involve more than just two legs. This one was involved just two legs yet returned more than $40,000 on a $60 bet. What made this particular parlay so lucrative was the fact that it depended on picking the winners of two separate golf events.
Picking the winner of just one golf event is a chore in itself considering the number of entrants into each tournament. When you have dozens of world class golfers competing in a single tournament, almost anything can happen.
Let’s compare this parlay’s payout compared to what would have happened had the gambler bet $30 on each tournament winner individually. That would give us a total of $60 in wagers to make a fair comparison.
When we published our own Honda Classic preview, the odds on Rickie Fowler winning it were +1600 (16/1) at Bovada. A $30 bet at those odds would netted $480 in winnings.
Similarly, our preview post on the US Masters showed that Sergio Garcia was priced at +4000 (40/1) at Bovada. A $30 bet at those odds would have netted $1,200 in winnings.
Altogether, $60 worth of wagers on those two golfers individually would have $1,680 in net profits. That’s not a bad outcome by any means. But, you can see it falls far short of the payday earned when the bettor combined both wagers into a single parlay.
Correctly predicting the winner of either one of these tournaments would have been quite a feat, but this gambler put both wagers together and took on the extra risk for a shot at a much larger payday. Had anyone but Rickie Fowler won the Honda Classic or anyone but Sergio Garcia won the Masters, this gambler’s bet would have been relegated to the dust heap as just another swing-and-miss. But this time, he hit a home run.
Choosing Rickie Fowler to win the Honda Classic was understandable given his play this year. But choosing Sergio Garcia to finally break his 0-for-73 drought in the majors. Whoever it was who had such great faith in Sergio Garcia must have had one wild Sunday as he watched Garcia very nearly make it 0-for-74 before finally writing his own comeback story for the ages.
How to Place a Parlay Bet
Parlay bets can be placed on the fly at mainstream betting sites today. You don’t need to look for a special “parlays” section or anything like that. Instead, load up two or more wagers in your betting slip and you’ll see a little option to combine them at the bottom of the slip. Once you combine them, your parlay is ready to go.
The cool thing about betting on parlays online is you can customize them endlessly. You can add as many legs as you want, pick and choose from different sporting events and even from completely different sports. You could even combine bets involving the winner of a golf tournament, the winner of a baseball game and the winning team of next year’s NCAA championship all in one parlay if you really want to.
For the sake of clarity, I’ll show an example of building a parlay at Bovada.lv.
Let’s go to the golf futures section and look for some tournaments to bet on. Bovada has already published early odds on the US Open, so let’s begin there and place a bet on Hideki Matsuyama to win the 2017 US Open at +1600:
Above, you can see that I selected Hideki Matsuyama and he has been added to my betting slip on the right side of the screen. I’m risking $30 to win $480. Awesome.
Now, let’s bet on Justin Thomas to win the 2017 British Open in July:
Look at the above screenshot and you can see that Justin Thomas has been added to my betting slip at +4000. My betting slip now shows two pending wagers along with my total risk and total payout.
You can also see that the parlay option was added to my betting slip after selecting two different bets. If I want to combine them into a single parlay, all I need to do is click on the circle and type in my desired risk:
Now you can see I’ve got a $60 parlay on the two golfers with a total potential payout of $41,760. Each of our golfers were priced at the same odds as those chosen in our lucky gambler’s parlay from above and the outcome is nearly the same. If we adjust our wager to exactly $60.02 as the gambler at Bovada did, the total payout is identical.