The $858,667 that Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele made for coming in tied for second behind Tiger Woods at this past weekend’s Masters Tournament likely hit their respective bank accounts on Tuesday, but the only person to make more than them, aside from Woods — who cashed a $2,070,000 winner’s check — wasn’t a professional golfer. He’s not even a professional gambler.
James Adducci, a 39-year-old self-described day trader from Wisconsin, cashed an $85,000 bet on Woods to win the first major of the year at 14-1 odds, winning him $1.19 million.
What makes the story even more out-of-this-world is that Adducci claims he had never made a sports bet in his life.
“A month before is when I knew I was going to do it,” Adducci told GolfDigest.com. “I had been thinking a lot about this. I watched Tiger’s performance at the Tour Championship, and things seemed to be going his way. I looked at how well he did there, and some other factors you can’t put stats behind. It wasn’t about the stats for me. The fact that this was going to be his first major in front of his kids, I was convinced he would win.”
While it wasn’t Woods’ first major in front of his children — they were on hand at Carnoustie last year as well — the decision had been made, and Anducci flew to Las Vegas last week to make the wager.
Having called ahead to the bank, pulling out “everything (he) had that (he) could afford to lose,” which he said comprised some failed stock money, Anducci purchased a backpack at Wal-Mart, loaded his cash inside and took an Uber to the Las Vegas Strip looking for a sportsbook to take his action.
Anducci found a book willing to take his bet at the SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. Director of Trading Nick Bogdanovich confirmed with his boss, CEO Joe Asher, that they would be willing to take the bet at 14-1 odds.
Anducci returned to Wisconsin to watch the tournament unravel alongside his father on a small, 23-inch television. Describing himself as “a nervous wreck,” Anducci watched as Woods made good on his first-ever sports wager.
Shortly after the last putt dropped, Anducci was on his way back out to Vegas to cash the winning tickets.
So, what’s he going to do with his new-found wealth? Buy some new garage doors, of course, and pay off some of their debt, which includes a mortgage, two student loans and two car loans.
“I’m a responsible guy,” he said. “My background is finance. I’m going to invest most of it. And we’re going to grow it.”
As for making a follow-up wager on Woods, Anducci has some pretty high hopes for the now-15-time major champion.
“If he wins (the PGA and U.S. Open), which I think he’ll do, he’ll go to Portrush, and I think there’s no doubt he’ll win the Grand Slam, then go to Augusta next year and take the all-time majors title,” Anducci said. “That’s really the same feeling I had that led me to bet on Tiger in the first place. He can just do amazing, superhuman things that you can’t even imagine are true. But he has this aura that makes him different than anybody else.”