Rovell Exclusive: A Sit Down With the Bettor Who Won $125K on a $50 Astros World Series Future
Dillon Jacobs, right, and his brother Riley at Game 1 of the 2022 World Series.
In April, Dillon Jacobs, a 31-year-old real estate appraiser, was down to his final $50 on his BetMGM mobile account in Colorado.
Jacobs isn’t typically a futures guy, but wanted his money to go a long way.
And oh boy did it.
Jacobs' $50 bet on the Astros to beat the Phillies in the 2022 World Series paid out $125,000 on Saturday night, an absurd 250,000% return on investment for seven months of sweat.
If you are holding this ticket, what do you do?
❤️ Hedge, 🔄Let it Ride pic.twitter.com/mhNEXojCfw
— John Ewing 🦁 (@johnewing) October 24, 2022
Jacobs has an applied mathematics major with a statistics concentration, but his pick wasn’t exactly some high-minded quant analysis.
Instead of just taking a particular team to win it all, Jacobs took a route with negative expected value in the long run: A World Series matchup parlay. It’s a longshot lover’s dream.
“I liked the Phillies first as a dark horse,” Jacobs told the Action Network. “Then, I felt I needed a big favorite."
In a toss up between the Yankees and the Astros, Jacobs chose the men from Houston to advance to the Winter Classic and win it all.
About two weeks in, Jacobs opened his app and clicked on his bet. BetMGM gave him an electronic offer: $750 in profit to cash out his bet.
“It was a quick offer, but I couldn’t take that,” he said. “I’d regret it forever.”
Things got rough when the Phillies didn’t exactly get off to a hot start and Bryce Harper broke his thumb in June.
And while the Astros were playing well, the No. 1 seed didn’t look like a distinct possibility with the Yankees on absolute fire.
But as luck would have it, everything seemed to go right for Jacobs. The Phillies climbed back and the Yankees gifted the Astros poll position after a horrific losing streak in August.
Then came the playoffs. The Padres took care of the Mets and the Dodgers while the Astros cruised.
The day before the first game of the World Series, Dillon Jacobs got a call from a BetMGM representative.
The cashout offer? $85,000.
“I thought about it for the night and I figured, since BetMGM was going to fly me to Game 1 in Houston, I should just let it ride,” Jacobs said.
Hoping to get affirmation that he made the right call, he shared it with his brother Riley, who works in finance for the Chicago Blackhawks. Jacobs' brother told him he was crazy.
Effectively, Jacobs was gambling a guaranteed $85,000 to win an extra $40,000. That's roughly -212 on the Astros to win the World Series — far worse than the -185 that was on the market in the days leading up to Game 1.
But still, Jacobs wanted to let it ride.
The following days were incredibly stressful for the 31-year-old. He watched the Astros lose Game 1 in person, but it was worthwhile nonetheless.
"[BetMGM] made it an unforgettable experience for me," Jacobs said. "The VIP treatment and sending me to Houston was a once in a lifetime experience."
Jacobs saw Game 2 while back home in Colorado. A 7-0 Phillies win in Game 3 had Jacobs worried it was all over. Then, an Astros no-hitter tied the series back up at two.
He watched Game 5 with his father, which Jacobs said was so stressful for his old man that after the Astros won 3-2, his pops said he wouldn't join for a potential Game 6 clincher until after he felt it was a sure thing.
After a sixth inning home run by Yordan Alvarez, his father made his way to his son’s place to celebrate. After screams and hugs and a Zoom call with his family in Kansas, Jacobs started to dream about what he would do with the $125,000.