A $5 bet was poised to turn into a $100,000 payday before the Indianapolis Colts melted down Monday night.
A bettor in the Delaware Sports Lottery picked 14 consecutive NFL winners against the spread over the weekend. His 15th pick would have turned the $5, 15-team parlay card into a $100,000 winner. Unfortunately, they took the Colts to beat the Philadelphia Eagles by more than a field goal.
The Colts led 17-6 at halftime, but couldn’t salt away the game and ended up losing, 30-27, on a last-second field goal.
“Honestly, we were rooting for the guy, starting with Sunday night’s game,” Delaware Lottery director Vernon Kirk said. “Our risk manager told us Sunday night that only one person had hit 14 games and needed the Bears and Colts.
“It definitely looked like Delaware had a winner when the Colts were up 14 midway through the third quarter,” Kirk added. “Then to have the Eagles rally like that — and to win in the last three seconds of the game — it was agonizing to watch when you knew one player was so close to such a big payout.”
No one has hit one of the 15-team, $5 parlays since 2011. The odds of picking all 15 games correctly are roughly 32,000-to-1, according to the lottery. More than 4,500 $5, 15-team parlays were placed for Week 2 of the NFL.
The Delaware Sports Lottery, outside of Nevada, is the largest legal sports betting operation in the U.S. It only accepts wagers on the NFL and requires bettors to pick a minimum of three selections per wager. Single-game wagers are not allowed; nevertheless, the lottery is growing substantially.
More than $32.5 million was wagered in the Delaware Sports Lottery during the 2013-14 season, a 28 percent increase from the previous year. Only $10.72 million was wagered on the lottery in 2009-10, the lottery’s first year.
Wagers are accepted at the state’s three racetracks — Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway — in addition to more than 60 retailers.