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Pawn Stars Pawn Shop Earned 50K Betting NFL

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
Aug/10/2011
Pawn Stars

Pawn shops are generally known for providing three basic services: You can buy items, you can sell items and you can pawn items.

In Nevada, however, pawn shops provide a vital fourth service: they're the place to go when you need to hedge the last game of a high-paying, multi-team parlay!

In his recently-released autobiography, "License to Pawn: Deals, Steals and My Life at the Gold and Silver," drug addict-turned-pawnbroker Rick Harrison, star of the hit reality TV show "Pawn Stars," relates one such incident that occurred at his pawn shop, Gold and Silver Pawn, in Las Vegas.

A professional gambler had made a parlay wager at a Vegas sportsbook for several thousand dollars.

The multiple bet included selections on five NFL games, four on Sunday plus the Monday night contest.

If the bettor could pick all five NFL games correctly, the payoff would be $100,000.

After Sunday's action ended, the bettor was 4-0 in his picks.

A win in the Monday night game would earn him $100,000.

A loss in the Monday nighter, however, would mean he'd win nothing for his efforts.

What to do?

He decided to hedge--bet $50,000 against the team he picked to win on his parlay card on Monday night.

That way, he would guarantee himself a $50,000 payoff, no matter who won on Monday night.

If the parlay pick won, he'd win $100,000 on the parlay and lose the $50,000 bet, for a $50,000 profit.

If the parlay pick lost, he'd win the $50,000 bet for a $50,000 profit.

It was brilliant--though basic--betting strategy, but there was one problem: the gambler didn't have $50,000 in cash to make it happen.

That's where your friendly neighborhood pawn shop came in.

As Harrison relates in his book, the hedge-seeking sports bettor came into the pawn shop seeking a $50,000 loan, with the 4-for-4 so-far parlay ticket serving as collateral.

And he got it!

But it wasn't quite that simple though, as Harrison explains.

First, the bettor turned over possession of the parlay ticket to Harrison.

Then Harrison and the bettor went to a local sportsbook, where Harrison took out $50,000 of his own money and bet the other side on the Monday night game, keeping possession of that betting ticket as well.

After the Monday night game ended, Harrison and the bettor returned to the sportsbook and redeemed the betting ticket that had won.

Harrison kept $5,000 as a fee for his efforts and turned the rest of the winnings over to the sports bettor.

Only in Las Vegas!

Or is it?

Last fall, in a well-publicized incident in Delaware, where NFL betting is legal via parlays, a bettor picked the first 14 games correctly on a 15-bet NFL parlay ticket.

The 15-teamer was actually a contest offered by Delaware casinos, with the cost just $5 to enter and the payoff a whopping $100,00 for anyone who hit 15 out of 15 NFL picks correctly.

The 15th and final game was a Sunday night game (Eagles vs. Niners) and if it hit, the bettor stood to win $100,000.

A loss would mean he'd get zilch for his 14-for-15 effort.

He didn't have $50,000 to hedge the bet, so he held his breath...and let it ride.

The ride ended in a crash.

His Monday night pick lost, and he turned what could've been a guaranteed payoff into a devastating loss.

If only he had known what a Vegas pawn shop could do for him.

By Tom Somach

Gambling911.com Staff Writer

tomsomach@yahoo.com

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