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Reno Doctor won $609,000 on Kentucky Derby Bets, offered only $35,000 due to Sportsbook's Cap

Tags: doctor, horse racing, Kentucky Derby, William Hill.
Posted on 22 May 2019 by "T".

An ophthalmologist in Reno thought he won a whopping $609,000 on the 145th Kentucky Derby; however, a huge chunk of it instantly became thin air as it turns out his tickets were worth only $35,000.

What caused this misunderstanding? Well, he didn't know the rules.

This year's Kentucky Derby could be described as a dramatic mess. ‘Maximum Security' was able to finish first but was disqualified after that, causing every other horse to move up a spot.

The drastic change resulted to a temporary havoc at sportsbooks all over the country where punters wagered a record $165.5 million (this was 10% more than last year's record $149.9 million). If Maximum Security was declared the winner in the first place, a gambler named Dr. Steve Friedlander (pictured right) could have walked away without winning anything from his bets worth $2,760. However, the disqualification made him a winner - a big winner - at the tune of over $600,000 bucks! But there's a problem...

According to the Action Network, Friedlander was going to the south side of Reno for his son's high school track meet in Carson City when he decided to stop by first at Tamarack Junction sportsbook on May 4, where he wagered a total of $2,760 on Kentucky Derby bets.

"He put $600 on the No. 8 horse Tacitus to either win, place or show and he did a $100 exacta box and a $40 trifecta box using the 8, 13, 16 and 20 horses. If any of those four finished first and second, he would win the exacta. If any of those four finished first second and third, he would cash in the trifecta.
When Maximum Security, the No. 7, crossed the finish line first, it appeared as though Friedlander had lost all his bets. But then Maximum Security was soon turned into a loser when the horse was disqualified and taken down."

‘Country Horse' was the most unlikely candidate to win the Kentucky Derby in 106 years, and this horse left the gates at 65:1 odds to win it all.

  • The $100 exacta bet would pay out $150,480
  • The $40 trifecta bet would pay out $459,024 ($11,475.30 x 40 = $459,024)

Therefore, his $2,760 wager could possibly pay out $609,464.


Unfortunately, he's not being offered even at least $100,000. When he returned to the Tamarack Junction sportsbook two hours later after watching the race at home, he said to the cashier that he had just won a massive amount of money, only to be told that they don't have that kind of amount. He first thought they didn't keep that kind of amount on hand, but he realized quickly something was wrong.

Someone told him there's a cap on exotic wagers and pointed to a placard on the wall that he hadn't noticed earlier which read, "This William Hill Race and Sports Book is a NON PARI-MUTUEL LOCATION" and the house rules about payout odds limits.

Friedlander felt devastated and said, "I was pretty sick. It's one of those things where I watched the race and thought I won all this money, yet I thought ‘this is too good to be true.' And I went down there and ‘yeah, that's right."

If only Friedlander placed his bet at a pari-mutuel location (where all wagers are placed in a prize pool in which gamblers bet against each other instead of against the house), he would have been paid the amount he was expecting.

He said, "It's somewhat ironic how the story goes, because if my son's track meet was on the north side of town, I almost certainly would have stopped at Grand Sierra, where William Hill has pari-mutuel."

William Hill released a statement, "Because of the requirements of the gaming regulations, there are significant costs involved to offer pari-mutuel wagering in Nevada. Unfortunately, it doesn't make economic sense to offer pari-mutuel wagering at all of our 115 Nevada locations. William Hill has 17 pari-mutuel locations in Nevada. At a number of additional William Hill locations, we offer booked wagering on the five major race days (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, and Friday/Saturday of Breeders' Cup) as a convenience to our customers in a manner consistent with the gaming regulations."

"At the locations where we book these select races, we pay official track prices, subject to certain caps that are prominently displayed. ... The capping of booked race payouts has been industry standard for decades and allows race books to book without taking on unlimited liability, which no one would want to do."

When Friedlander saw the caps, he refused to cash his tickets and made an appeal to the Gaming Control Board, which would make its decision within 45 days.

William Hill said that Friedlander "has the right to appeal to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, but we are confident that we have fully complied with the relevant gaming regulations and had prominent signage alerting customers to the payoff caps."

Friedlander is hoping his story will serve as an example for everyone wanting to engage in sports betting in the country, "I want new bettors to hear my story so they're aware what house rules are. And to make sure they do their research before they make a bet."

Still, at the end of the day, we think it's still a good turnout for him to make $35,000 from his $2,760 in bets - bets he only won when a horse got disqualified in the zaniest Kentucky Derby so far, right?



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18 comments on "Reno Doctor won $609,000 on Kentucky Derby Bets, offered only $35,000 due to Sportsbook''s Cap"

 dule-vu22/05/2019 13:08:58 GMT
how to be good with this amount,when he could get 600 K!what a sick rule!
 pajalnick22/05/2019 13:27:17 GMT
of course a very sad story .... feel yourself the winner of winning more than half a million dollars .... and in the end some rule lowers him down and the winnings amount to only $ 35,000 ... This is of course very sad ... It seems to me that it’s wrong that there are different rules for Bids in different regions .... But of course He needed to be more careful when placing a bet
 CALICUL22/05/2019 17:33:02 GMT
This betting house was not supposed to accept that bet, if the rules clearly stated this. It is ugly to accept a bet and then refuse to pay a win, just because there is a limit for exotic bets. This doctor had to be refused from the beginning, and then to be allowed to bet the maximum admitted. The blame is the bookmaker.
 Mober23/05/2019 12:31:10 GMT
That was bad news for the players, but unfortunately, it was in the rules.
Many gambling sites have a cap in many games.
Depends on the game and the company.
Here all games besides lotto and joker which have a jackpot, have a cap.

The drop of course for him was huge. I can only imagine his reaction when he found out about it.
 dule-vu23/05/2019 13:11:19 GMT
he didnt do anyting wrong,everything is done by bookie!who can read every rule and ofcourse what would be if something is changed in race!ofcourse bookie make every covered,if something happen,that he pay less as much as he can!for me this is not good solution and should be changed by some law!they decide how much they will pay,if something is changed in race!
 thejonas223/05/2019 14:01:50 GMT
por supuesto, una historia muy triste ... siéntete el ganador de ganar más de medio millón de dólares ... y al final alguna regla lo baja y las ganancias ascienden a solo $ 35,000 ... Esto es, por supuesto, muy triste ... Me parece que está mal que haya diferentes reglas para las Ofertas en diferentes regiones ... Pero, por supuesto, necesitaba ser más cuidadoso al realizar una apuesta.
 dule-vu23/05/2019 14:46:29 GMT
thejonas2 you must respect some rules at forum,no matter are you new here or not!english is only language that is allowed at forum and please write at threads that are new or from this year,not that you find threads that are from last years or even two years!
good luck at forum!
 CALICUL23/05/2019 17:13:27 GMT
She, is just a girl of 19 years who did not learn the rules of this site. The rules have not been learned nor by that unimaginable bookmaker, who allowed that bet of 2700 dollars. The rules are only followed by correct people, but here we must be correct persons and to speak only in engish language. TheJonas2, about what you say with this bet not the woman is guilty. She bet, but the betting house could say that there must be a lower bet to be accepted. This doctor deserve $ 609 k not $35 k. Sad
 dule-vu23/05/2019 17:48:23 GMT
chaged my post!wrong message,sorry!
 bowie198423/05/2019 23:25:58 GMT
Posted by dule-vu:
... if something happen,that he pay less as much as he can!for me this is not good solution and should be changed by some law!they decide how much they will pay,if something is changed in race!

They always screw you over with things like this. Always. Online as well.
 pajalnick24/05/2019 11:38:20 GMT
it's very sad that casino and poker bookmakers will do everything to pay less to the winners ... will find some Tricks or write such clever rules that it is very difficult to understand them ... the bookmaker saw that the bet was made wrong but still accepted the money ... .and did not suggest that a mistake was made ...
 dule-vu24/05/2019 17:16:20 GMT
its same like you had rule in betting shops in serbia 10,15 years ago,where you could bet on some game,especially if you play big oods of football from 1/2 or 2/1 and then when you come to pick up money,they can say that this match was fixed and that dont want to pay you money and they just back what you invested!ofcourse its stupid,when you have somethin on ticket,but they can do whatever they want when law give them!
 CALICUL24/05/2019 17:49:57 GMT
I expect to start a lawsuit in this case because this Doctor from Reno desreves all money not only $35 k. There are many cases every year where people do not win as much as they can because they are being invented certain rules, to make casinos and sports betting houses to offer less money. This is not fair.

 Mober25/05/2019 09:56:56 GMT
There is no reason proceeding with a lawsuit, since he is not gonna take a single cent more
out of it.
The rules are rules, and since there was a cap, they dont have to pay nothing more
than the maximum.
If he didnt know the rules, that is his problem, not companies.
And you should know that many gambling sites, online and not have cap,
in almost every game. It is their right to do so, and if you play, it means you agree with their
 bowie198425/05/2019 14:58:05 GMT
Posted by CALICUL:
I expect to start a lawsuit in this case because this Doctor from Reno desreves all money not only $35 k.

There were posters on the wall explaining this situation when he made this bet, no court will be going forward with this case.
 CALICUL25/05/2019 17:57:01 GMT
As long as that operator has accepted this bet, he made a mistake. The doctor is not guilty. Why this operator received the money, when he knew about that bet would not be accepted? When it comes to cashing, betting house receives any bet, even if not all are accepted, but when it comes to paying the winner, something is not right. The operator had to accept an amount less than $ 2700 and now everything was ok.
 Mober29/05/2019 10:50:07 GMT
What exactly are you talking about. They had and still have rules about it.
It was him who did a mistake by not knowing the whole situation about the betting
and the payout. If he cant see the rules, then he need glasses.
Cause i bet he can read since he has managed to become a doctor somehow...
 Nightkid29/05/2019 14:09:24 GMT
the truth that would fall badly to anybody ... if it happened to me to happen to my nose that is what it would not do other than to send them well to the shit and to fuck them, but good many times this happens and it is never the house that leaves losing but we Angry Angry Angry

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