U. Of Michigan Alum Could Win $1M On Michigan State In NCAA Tourney, Is World’s Worst Sports Fan

by 3 years ago

Derek Stevens is a University of Michigan alumnus and wealthy Las Vegas businessman. He’s an avid sports bettor who places all of his bets at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino’s sportbook due to a Nevada law prohibiting from placing bets at the casino he owns and operates, the Golden Gate Hotel and The D in downtown Las Vegas. On April 6th, Mr. Stevens, strolled into the Golden Nugget sportsbook and asked to drop $20,000 on Michigan State basketball to win it all at 50-to-1, because even though he’s a Wolverine graduate Derek Stevens claims he also ‘pulls for the Spartans’, making him the worst sports fan alive.

As it stands, Derek Stevens is only TWO WINS away from winning $1,000,000 on the Spartans of Michigan State. He could see a seven figure payday from the team that is the MORTAL ENEMY of his alma mater, and he’s perfectly okay with that. On the one hand you could say ‘what the heck does school allegiance matter in the face of $1M?’ But on the other hand you have to wonder how a man can drop a $20,000 bet on a school he should hate with every fiber of his being.

ESPN’s Darren Rovell was first to report on the story:

On Dec. 5, Stevens walked in and told sportsbook director Tony Miller that he wanted to make a bet on Michigan State to win it all and to make sure that if he did win, he’d win $1 million.

Despite Stevens’ being a regular customer, Miller’s sportsbook doesn’t accept bets that could cause such a colossal loss, so he called up his boss, Tilman Fertitta, who owns the Golden Nugget, to approve the bet.

It was a relatively smooth conversation. The Spartans were at 50-1 to win it all at the time, having just lost their third game of the young, eight-game season to Notre Dame.

So Miller accepted Stevens’ $20,000 bet, never thinking he’d be sweating the possibility that the Spartans could pull it off.

“In my nine years at this sportsbook, I never accepted a bet that could result in us paying $1 million,” Miller said. “The most I’ve ever seen won here was a $100,000 parlay.”

Stevens, who owns The D and Golden Gate hotels in downtown Las Vegas, said he didn’t see anything particularly special; he is just a fan and felt like getting aggressive.

Stevens gives the Golden Nugget the business because Nevada state gaming regulations forbid owners from placing bets at their own establishments.

Miller and Stevens have become good friends over the years, which makes the fact that the Spartans have two games to win it all a bit awkward.

“This would be a massive loss for us,” Miller said. “I see days where we lose $10,000 to $30,000, but nothing close to $1 million.”

Stevens said he plans on watching Saturday night’s game versus Duke at the sports bar at The D, inviting Spartans fans to show up in their green and white to root on the team and his $1 million bet.

“If I win, I’ll give some bonus money to my employees,” Stevens said. “I also want to give some money to the [Jerry] Tarkanian Basketball Academy, and the rest I will reinvest in my properties.”

To read more on whether or not he’ll hedge his bet you can check out Rovell’s write up on ESPN by clicking HERE. For now we all just need to agree that this man is the worst fan in sports. He stands to make a sizable fortune off of the wins of his mortal enemy. He should be disowned by the University of Michigan alumni base.


TAGSMarch MadnessMichigan StateMSUUniversity of Michigan

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