SportsPulse: There was a bit of controversy, but the Blues got it done in Boston and are now one win away from the first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history. USA TODAY
ST. LOUIS – Missouri native Scott Berry said the betting slip that will pay him $100,000 if the St. Louis Blues win the Stanley Cup has had its own journey as his team has marched through the playoffs
“That ticket went from my sock drawer, to my safe, to now a safe deposit box.” Berry told USA TODAY Sports.
In January, when the Blues were near last place, Berry, 31, was in Las Vegas on a business trip when he noticed that the Blues were listed as 250-1 longshot at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel Sportsbook. After seeing the Blues listed at 150-1 elsewhere, he decided to bet $400 on the Blues winning the Stanley Cup. That’s the amount he set aside to gamble in Las Vegas.
“When I initially put the bet down, everyone was like, ‘Oh my gosh, (betting) on one of the worst teams in the league. You did that?” Berry recalled. “I’m like, ‘You never know – it’s hockey.”
STANLEY CUP: Blues win Game 5 after controversial non-call
The Blues have never won the Stanley Cup in their 52-year history. But if they beat the Bruins in Game 6 on Sunday in St. Louis, they will end the long drought and make Berry $100,000 richer.
With that kind of payoff at stake, Berry has called the Blues’ improbable run “a wild ride” for him personally.
“It’s hard to stomach watching,” Berry said, chuckling. He said when he watches games he tries to block out the bet and “just watch my team.”
Don’t forget that the Blues were down 2-1 in the best-of-seven series before winning the last two games.
“I try not to read too much on the internet, from the twitter trolls, but I don’t need to hear the professional betters tell me I’m an idiot,” Berry said.
Offers for the ticket have continued to roll in. Berry said through PropSwap, where people can buy and sell bets, he was told Friday “that I can probably sell it for $70,000.”
“I’m like, ‘Holy cow,” Berry said. “I don’t there was a buyer lined up, but this guy works with some wealthy clients.”
He received an offer of $12,000 before Game 7 against the Dallas Stars in the conference semifinal. After they won, the offer went to $25,000. Between the first and second periods of Game 6 of the conference final, he received a “firm offer” of $41,000 for the ticket.
“I’m sitting in the hallway, with a friend, with a beer in hand,” Berry recalled. “Forty thousand sounds great. I want the money. But I thought, ‘no’ I’m going to let it ride. I believe too much in this team. That’s why people call me an idiot because I’m betting with heart and not my mind. I’ve fallen in love with this team.”
Many people are recommending Berry hedge his bet to make sure he comes away with something. For example, if he bet $10,000 today on the Bruins, based on Friday’s odds, he would win $20,000 if the Bruins win the Stanley Cup. That way, he is guaranteed to win something regardless of the outcome.
“But I’m reluctant to hedge because I’m kind of superstitious,” he said. “I put the bet down in January believing they could do it. Why sell myself short?”
Berry said even his own brother has advised him he should hedge. But it feels like he is going against his team if he hedges.
“Do I want to break my juju, my superstitions?” Berry said. “I don’t want to do that. That’s my mindset.”
Berry is in software sales for Atlanta-based Patientco. He is neither wealthy, nor desperate for money. Would $100,000 be life-altering? “Somewhere in between,” Berry said.
If he wins, Berry said he wants to do something nice for his family. He also has Type 1 diabetes and plans to make some charitable contribution recognizing that fact.
“There is a zero chance I will sell the ticket,” Berry said. “Never say never on hedging, but right now I’m not hedging.”
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