Gambling Effect

Masters 2019: Tiger Woods costs sportsbooks millions in payouts with historic victory at Augusta National

April 14, 2019
The Masters - Final Round
Andrew RedingtonAUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates with the Masters Trophy during the Green Jacket Ceremony after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods' historic 15th major championship will reverberate around the sports world for years to come. The effect of Tiger's win on sportsbooks, though, will have more of an immediate effect—as the reported payouts on Tiger Woods bets were massive.

The biggest individual payout will be at the William Hill sportsbook at the SLS Casino in Las Vegas, which will pay out $1.2 million to a bettor who made a $85,000 wager on Tuesday. It was the largest payout on a futures bet in William Hill U.S. history, William Hill confirmed. The sportsbook declined to identify the lucky bettor when contacted on Sunday, but we're told the sportsbook is still waiting for the customer to cash their ticket as of 5 p.m. Sunday evening.

When Golf Digest spoke with William Hill Director of Trading Nick Bogdanovich on Tuesday evening, he told us the heavy-handed bettor wasn't a regular, and it was likely a first-time customer.

“It’s great to see Tiger back. It’s a painful day for William Hill—our biggest golf loss ever—but a great day for golf,” Bogdanovich told Action Network's Darren Rovell on Sunday.

Other sportsbooks felt similar effects. FanDuel Group says it will pay out more than $3 million to customers who either played its $1-million daily-fantasy contest (a promo before the event promised to refund players' $15 entry fees) and its sportsbooks in both mobile wagering and in-person, where FanDuel had more than $1 million liability, as Tiger was the most popular player taken.

DraftKings had a creative promo before Sunday's final round—offering an odds boost on Tiger's outright odds, boosting it from 3-1 to 10-1. More than $2.5 million in wagers on Tiger were paid out to DraftKings customers, calling the promo its most one since the sportsbook went live in New Jersey last summer. Some lucky bettors even got an odds-boost on Tiger, when his odds dropped to 7-1 during the round, so they got him at 15-1.

“The Tiger effect is real,” said Mike Raffensperger, chief marketing officer for FanDuel Group. “Tiger's historic win today has cemented him as one of the most iconic figures in sports and we congratulate him on his tremendous achievement. We're even happier for our customers who today have over three million reasons to believe there are more ways to win on FanDuel!"

Tiger became the most-bet on athlete in DraftKings' history after the Masters. And 69 percent of wagers on May's PGA Championship have already been wagered on Tiger, the company says. Of course, that's just the reporting from three sportsbooks. We're sure the number is in the tens of millions for how much sportsbooks collectively lost. Don't feel too bad for them—they collected on all the wagers on every other golfer. But for anybody wagering on Tiger Woods, they were rewarded for their faith in him.

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