Casino Gambling

Golden Nugget takes biggest bet ever on NCAA Tournament

Tilman Fertitta
Tilman Fertitta

As owner of Golden Nugget Casinos, including the one in Biloxi, Tilman Fertitta covers big bets every day.

But this time he’s agreed to cover the largest bet ever at his Las Vegas location: a $1 million payout if the University of Michigan wins the NCAA Tournament.

Neighboring Vegas casino owner Derek Stevens put $12,500 down on 80-to-1 odds from the Golden Nugget that the Wolverines would win it all and be the team to cut down the nets at the end of the tourney.

The team is getting closer. They defeated No. 2-ranked Louisville Cardinals, 73-69, to made it into the Sweet 16. The Wolverines will face No. 3-ranked Oregon on Thursday in hopes of making the Elite Eight.

Golden Nugget Las Vegas could have turned down the bet. The casino’s Race & Sports Book director said the biggest payout to date was $100,000.

Fertitta placed his bet on University of North Carolina to take home the trophy. He is tied for second place in the Bloomberg Brackets for a Cause March Madness challenge. If he wins the $380,000 jackpot, he’ll donate it to the Houston Police Foundation to support projects of the Houston Police Department and fund special programs, officer safety, training, equipment and new technology.

Sun Herald