Argentina and Lionel Messi squared off against France and Kylian Mbappé on Sunday in the title match of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and ended with a win for Argentina.
One gambler hoped that France could pull out a victory — not because he’s a fan of the team or country, but because he was set to take home a serious payout.
After winning six consecutive bets in his parlay wager, a bettor named Daniel Forte was set to win a whopping $557,770 if France pulled out a victory on Sunday, according to bet slips posted by Bleacher Report. Parlays combine multiple bets into a single wager, with a win needed for each bet in order for the overall wager to be considered a win. This way, each win inside a parlay garners a higher payout than if a bettor placed all those wagers separately.
As part of this parlay, which can been seen below, Forte also bet on the Golden State Warriors to win the 2022 NBA Championship, the Colorado Avalanche to win the Stanley Cup and Kansas to win the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Forte’s bet of $26 would have had a payday of more than a half million dollars if France beat Argentina, but if France lost, then his parlay loses and he will get nothing despite all the other sections of his parlay being correct.
The implied probability of all of these bets to win when they were made is so statistically small that it’s closer to 0% than 1%.
While France ended up losing the World Cup, it actually did not mean a loss for Forte. Right before the World Cup final match, Forte cashed out his bet and made a deal with FanDuel. To limit its potential downside, FanDuel offered Forte $283,538 to give up his bet and potential massive winnings, which he accepted.
“Thank god I cashed out. I’d be leaving on a stretcher with a hear attack right now,” Forte said after the game ended on Sunday.
Sports-betting operators like FanDuel, the sportsbook where Forte placed this bet, and DraftKings
are not shy about highlighting betting tickets like Forte’s, because those long-shot bets give hope to people who think they will be the next one to turn $26 into $557,000. FanDuel has confirmed that the screenshots of the wager are accurate.
“Parlay [bets] are popular because everyone dreams of turning a little bit of cash into a big payday,” says Steven Petrella, deputy editor for the Action Network. “Sportsbooks love to promote big parlay winners on Twitter and Instagram, but they’re not posting the thousands of losing parlay tickets.”
The the 2022 World Cup features a record-breaking amount of prize money at $440 million — up from $400 million for the 2018 World Cup, which was hosted by Russia. This year’s winning team will get $42 million, or $4 million more than the winner of the 2018 tournament, and the runner-up will receive $30 million.