What is Parlay Betting and 7 Largest Wins of All Time

What is parlay betting image

If you are a fan of sports wagering, then you have most likely come across the question, “What is parlay betting?”. Parlays, or accumulators, are big business for sportsbooks, with an occasional bettor defying the odds and landing themselves with substantial cash prizes.

What is Parlay Betting?

Parlay betting, or accumulator betting, is a type of wagering in which multiple bets are combined into a single wager. That is to say, the winnings from individual bets increase the payout for the next bet. In other words, the winnings from one bet are “rolled over” into the next bet. Hence the term “parlay”.

For example, if a bettor makes three separate bets on different sporting events (e.g., NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, horse racing, etc.), each with odds of 2.0 (even money), then they could combine these bets into a single parlay bet. As a result, if all three bets are successful, the bettor will receive a much larger payout than if they had made the three bets separately. This is because the odds for the parlay bet are multiplied. Therefore, in this example, the betting point odds would be 2.0 x 2.0 x 2.0 = 8.0.

What are the pros and cons of parlay betting?

As explained above, one of the primary advantages of bet parlays is the potential for a much larger payout than individual bets. However, this type of betting is also riskier than betting on particular events. This is because a single loss would result in the entire bet being lost. Another vital factor to consider is that most bookmakers require that all bets included in a parlay be successful for the bet to pay out.

Parlay betting is a popular option for sports bettors, especially those looking to make a big wager on a series of sporting events. Even so, it is essential to remember that this type of betting is not suitable for everyone, as the risk can be significant.

Now that we have answered the question of what parlay betting is, next we will look at some of the largest wins ever achieved using this wagering style:

1. Won US$250,000 (US$8,500 on 29/1 Odds)

Las Vegas is the gambling centre of America and has certainly seen some huge wins over the years. An unnamed MGM bettor staked a massive US$8,500 parlay bet on five NFL teams during the 2017 season.

He first selected his four favourites; New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens. After that, he predicted that the Detroit Lions would beat the New York Giants. When all five parlay legs came up, the man increased his US$8,500 to a massive US$250,000, for which he can thank his confidence and football skill predictions.

2. Won US$305,000 (US$5 on 61,000/1 Odds)

Another anonymous resident of Las Vegas bet on 15 basketball selections in March 2016. This resulted in one of the biggest wins ever in basketball betting. The win was even more impressive because none of the others were NBA picks, apart from two selections. In fact, most of the US$5 progressive parlay wager consisted of NCCA college basketball teams. 

In the end, all 15 legs came in, resulting in a more than impressive US$305,375 win being scooped up.  

3. Won £500,000 (30p on 1,666,667/1 Odds)

Most parlay bettors stick to one sport. However, in 2000, an unnamed punter from Lichfield in the UK decided to include a bouquet of sporting selections. Ultimately, he betted on 16 events on the same 30p slip.

Ultimately, the lucky bettor predicted the winners of English football’s top five leagues, the bottom three leagues in Scotland, the rugby union premiership winner, and the victor of the Cricket Country Championship.

4. Won £574,287 (£1 on 573,286/1 Odds)

A housewife from the UK, fed up with her husband’s obsession with soccer, decided to bet £1 on 12 teams winning in the English Football League 2017 season. Ultimately, her predictions came true with all 12 teams, winning her a massive £574,287.

5. Won £823,000 (£19 on 181,015/1 Odds)

The Punchestown Festival is the closing act of the Irish horse jumping season, with some of Ireland’s top racehorses on show. One brave bettor put parlays on the Friday of the 2017 meeting, which was the Punchestown Festival hurdle day.

The finish line saw Canardier (33/1), Bacardys (10/1), Definite Rugby (7/1), Woodland Opera (9/2) and Das Mooser (10/1) coming in, forcing the Coral bookmakers to fork out the largest sum ever on horseracing in their history. The £4 fivefold and the five £3 fourfolds increased the £19 to just under £823,000.  Talk about a bookie pummelling!

6. Won £1 million (50p on 2 million/1 Odds)

In 2008, a fertiliser salesman, Fred Craggs, scored an incredible eightfold at the horseraces. The Yorkshire local placed a 50p parlay bet at his local William Hill betting outlet in the town of Thirsk.

The bet was struck at the colossal odds of 2 million/1. In the end, all eight of Craggs’s preferred runners came in. However, the lucky punter didn’t know that his parlay had come off until he revisited the betting shop branch. Ultimately, the £1 million prize came in as a perfect 60th birthday gift that Craggs will remember forever.

7. Won £1,4 million (£2 on 725,335/1 Odds)

The biggest parlay bet winner reported to date has been Steve Whiteley, an engineer from North Tawton in Devon. Whiteley’s £2 winning combination contained six selections: Lupita (12/1), Lundy Sky (5/1), Mr Bennett (16/1), Ammunition (16/1), Black Phantom (12/1), and Semi Colon (2/1). The resultant prize amounted to an incredible £1,450,671.71, the largest in the history of Tote Jackpot.

By understanding precisely what parlay betting is all about, you can better exploit the winning possibilities when betting on sports. The ability to spread your bet over several races allows for sizeable prizes resulting from small stakes. Why not try parlay betting and see where your luck takes you?

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