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KY Derby bettor wins $609K, Sportsbook offers $35K instead

(Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports)

(Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports)

Imagine winning an absurd amount of money on the Kentucky Derby, then going to collect your winnings, only to be told, “We don’t have it.”

That happened to one man in Reno, who claims the Tamarack Junction sportsbook offered him $35,000 instead of the $609,000 he is owed. Dr. Steve Friedlander turned $2,760 into $609,464 with the exacta and the trifecta in Country House’s upset win, but he will need one more win, in court, to receive his big payday.

From our friends at the Action Network:

“I went up to the ticket writer who wrote my original ticket and I said, ‘I just won a lot of money — $600,000,’” Friedlander said. “And the guy says, ‘We don’t have that kind of cash here.’”

Friedlander took that to mean that the book didn’t have $600K on hand. But then another writer came over.

“There’s a cap on these,” he said.

The writer went to the front and showed Friedlander a placard. In fine print, it said that the maximum payout on an exacta would be 150-1, a trifecta would be 500-1.

On the desk, Friedlander only then saw the sign. The sportsbook, run by William Hill, didn’t have a pari-mutuel license and therefore wasn’t protected by a guaranteed percentage payout from the pool. [Read more]

To make matters worse, Friedlander said he only used that particular sportsbook because it was close to his son’s track meet. Had he used his regular sportsbook in another part of town, the bet would’ve been paid in full. Now he’s out half a million dollars.

[Man Who Says He Won $609K on Derby Is Offered $35K Due to Sportsbook’s Cap]

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

17 Comments for KY Derby bettor wins $609K, Sportsbook offers $35K instead



  1. CatfaninCinci
    10:49 am May 16, 2019 Permalink

    He’s not out a half mil.

    He made money, just not what he thought he was gonna make. That’s his fault, for betting with a book that is under no obligation to pay out any huge bets. I dislike hidden fine print just as much as the next guy, but that’s why I don’t make bets with questionable bookies.



    • ukjaybrat
      10:55 am May 16, 2019 Permalink

      i agree with you. but honestly. i didnt even know this was legal. gambling already always favors the house. now no one has any incentive to bet longshots at that place. and the only ones that do are clearly unaware of the fine print.



    • CatfaninCinci
      11:02 am May 16, 2019 Permalink

      It shouldn’t be legal… Agree. I don’t know why anyone would use a sports book that doesn’t have to actually pay out your odds. It’s atrocious.

      But if you throw down big money on massive bets 1) you need to know what you’re doing – aka know that these kind of places exist and avoid these places when placing your bets and 2) READ THE SIGNS POSTED if you’re not familiar with the betting book.

      I’m not arguing that the situation doesn’t suck, or that it should/shouldn’t be illegal, what have you. I’m arguing the guy was stupid about placing bets.



    • TonyMontana
      11:11 am May 16, 2019 Permalink

      You walk into the place and the small placard is displayed to your right on a table and the fine print is located on the back of it. Would someone reasonably be expected to see and read something on the back of a placard sitting on a table out of sight? He has appealed this to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Someone appealed in a similar situation and won, however in that situation there was no placard at all. In this situation, there was a placard present in the room, so he’s probably screwed. But still… 35k is better than nothing.



    • J. Did
      4:23 pm May 16, 2019 Permalink

      Initially, I ‘smelt’ a lawsuit. There is a reason why the BIG PRINT giveth, and the small print TAKETH AWAY.



  2. Smyrna_Cat
    10:57 am May 16, 2019 Permalink

    The KSR Headlines have a tendency to be very misleading.

    The better messed up. It sucks, but it sounds like it is legal. The moral of the story … not everyone in the betting industry is as honest and friendly as you would like.



    • CatfaninCinci
      11:10 am May 16, 2019 Permalink

      Ha! Most of them aren’t. That’s how Vegas became extremely wealthy. By playing people like this dude as the idiots they are.



    • StillBP
      11:18 am May 16, 2019 Permalink

      Do you make it a rule to have at least one criticism per post? Seems like it.



    • Smyrna_Cat
      11:30 am May 16, 2019 Permalink

      StillBP … I have at least one criticism on the post that deserves criticism. Nufff said. Sorry if you disagree.



    • StillBP
      12:26 pm May 16, 2019 Permalink

      So basically 95% of the posts deserve criticism in your opinion. Got it. Maybe you should apply for a job with them, show them how it should be done.



    • Smyrna_Cat
      12:41 pm May 16, 2019 Permalink

      Still, are you the official watcher of commenters? If so, good on you! I hope it pays well. It must be time consuming to monitor all commenters … perhaps in your free time you could teach KSR writers how to write accurate, non-misleading headlines. That would be a good use of your time. But that may not be in your scope of work.



    • J-Dub421
      2:16 pm May 16, 2019 Permalink

      Bettor, not better.



  3. notFromhere
    11:42 am May 16, 2019 Permalink

    Even at 150-1 that payout on 2k+ seems too low. Seems he’ll get more money in court, unless someone can correct my math



    • gawell
      12:35 pm May 16, 2019 Permalink

      that’s a max of 150 to 1, the odds for Country House was 64 to 1 so it seems their max payout might be around $60,000.



    • notFromhere
      12:45 pm May 16, 2019 Permalink

      Thanks. I thought 35k was still way light



  4. Matt10
    12:43 pm May 16, 2019 Permalink

    Sounds like he needs a shotgun.



  5. ukcamel
    1:41 pm May 16, 2019 Permalink

    It is easy to feel bad for him. He made a mistake and if he was unfamiliar with this particular book he should have asked. Still, it really sucks when you hit a once-in-a-lifetime exotic and this happens.