Throughout history, betting has fallen in and out of favour, sometimes for centuries at a time. Archaeologists have discovered evidence of dice and counters that indicate that even the very earliest civilisations played games of chance.
Betting on sports and games played by others has been a popular choice since at least the Ancient Greeks who wagered on chariot races, gladiatorial contests, and the Olympics. Various periods in history have been marked by religious pressure on governments to outlaw gamblingand gaming of any sort, but the prevailing appeal of gaming usually wins out, leading to the rise of online gaming options such as NY sports betting apps. This is, in part, due to the huge industry that has been built up around gambling, from playing the slots in casinos to winning life-changing sums on the outcomes of sporting events. While it’s not possible to guarantee a win, some people appear to be able to predict the outcome of sporting events with incredible accuracy, and one of these people is William T Walters, otherwise known as Billy Walters.
Born in Munfordville, Kentucky, William T Walters was raised alongside his two sisters and four other children by his grandmother due to his father’s death and his mother’s struggle with alcoholism. The house he grew up in didn’t have indoor plumbing and his family struggled despite his grandmother having two jobs.
With seven children in the house and not enough money to go around, Walters’ first job was as a self-employed lawn-mower at the age of seven. He obtained a bank loan that allowed him to buy a lawn mower, and a couple of years later, at the age of nine, he took out another loan to help him start a paper round.
He used the money that he earned from his paper round to bet on the New York Yankees in the 1955 World Series. Although he lost the bet, he continued to gamble on sports from that day on, but his success was limited throughout his early years and he once lost a house on a game of pitching pennies, although he paid off the debt rather than surrendering his home.
When he was thirteen, his grandmother died and he had to move away to live with his mother who charged him rent to live in her basement. He worked in a bakery in the mornings and a petrol station in the evenings to be able to afford to stay there while he attended high school.
After leaving high school, Walters worked at a used-car dealership in Louisville where he continued to demonstrate good business sense and a commitment to success. He would seek out customers in the local papers, cold-call people from the phone book, and send promotional letters to the neighbours of his customers.
Within his first year, he was selling record numbers of cars each month and he earned the equivalent of $400,000 through his dedication to making sales. Before long, he had begun his own business as an automotive wholesaler supplying dealerships all over the United States.
It was at this time that Walters’ incredible eye for a deal led him to try his hand at sports betting and he approached his wagers in the same way that he approached car sales: he put in hours of work and research and he was fearless in the face of potential defeat and by the mid-1980s, it began to pay off.
During the 1980s, the Computer Group used digital analysis to predict the outcome of sporting events, and it proved a hugely successful choice for him. Since then, he has had a long-running winning streak that has covered thirty years with only one year in which he didn’t end up in the black.
By betting on collegefootball, the NFL, and basketball, Walters amassed quite a fortune, and he famously won $3.5 million when he bet on the New Orleans Saintsto win the Super Bowl XLIV. Such is his reputation that he now uses runners to place bets for him so as to avoid drawing attention to which way he is betting and ensure that bookmakers aren’t tipped off.
Billy Walters estimated net worth is around $200 million, and some of his investments speak to his sporting interests, such as a golf course in Las Vegas. He has also returned to his origins with investments in car dealerships and commercial property.
While there are no guarantees when it comes to sports betting, Billy Walters’ story is a testament to the power of statistical analysis in the realm of sports betting. While it may not be possible for everyone to amass such a fortune, it is an inspiring tale for anyone who wants to turn their love of sport into a potential windfall.