If your bracket hasn't been completely busted yet and you've still got a shot to win your office pool, then there's a good chance that you won't be rooting for Michigan State when they take the floor to play Duke on Saturday in the Final Four. The Spartans were a longshot to make it this far in the tournament, and just about no one picked them to go all the way and win the NCAA title.
Derek Stevens did, though. Even though he attended the University of Michigan and even though the odds of Michigan State winning the title back in early December were 50-to-1, Stevens walked into the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas on December 5—two days after the Spartans lost to Notre Dame to fall to 5-3 on the season—and placed a $20,000 future bet on Michigan State to win the championship this season. And that bet could end up making Stevens $1 million richer this weekend if Tom Izzo & Co. are able to do the improbable and win the title.
If Stevens does win, it'd be a huge hit to the Golden Nugget. The casino's sportsbook director Tony Miller approved Stevens' bet in December because he didn't think he'd have to worry about Michigan State making a title run. But now that Stevens is two games from winning $1 million, Miller just told ESPN.com that he's "never accepted a bet that could result in us paying $1 million" and also said that, if Stevens wins his bet, it will be "a massive loss" for the Golden Nugget.
As for Stevens, he's surprised that he's come this close to winning a million dollars off his $20,000 bet. And he's already earmarking the money, just in case he does end up walking away with a winning ticket.
"If I win, I'll give some bonus money to my employees," said Stevens, who owns several buildings surrounding the Golden Nugget. "I also want to give some money to the [Jerry] Tarkanian Basketball Academy, and the rest I will reinvest in my properties."
Think he's got a realistic chance to win?
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