Lucky locals beat odds with $75K parlay win
Hope, chance and $3 – $2 from Matt Yarborough and $1 from Aaron Harris – yielded a $75,000 return as the two locals picked a 15-team parlay card to perfection.
According to casino officials at Reno’s Cal Neva Virginian, where Yarborough and Harris placed their bet, this is the first time anyone has picked all 15 winning teams in the hotel’s 18-year history with the game.
Takes a lot of skill, huh?
“We guessed them all, actually,” said Yarborough. “We just got real lucky.”
Yarborough and Harris chose numbers at random between 87 and 140. The two did not look at the teams until after they had submitted their bets.
By Sunday evening, the two realized that they had won 14 games and the only pending game was the Monday night match-up between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys.
All they needed was for the underdog Giants to stay within three and a half points of their opponents.
In order to provide a safety net, Yarborough and Harris borrowed $20,000 from an anonymous friend and hedged their bet. They bet the $20,000 on the Cowboys so that, whichever team won the game, they would come out winners.
“We wanted to cover our bet at least a little,” Yarborough said. “It worked out better that the Giants won.”
The Giants won the game 13-10 in the closing seconds, and the parlay card paid off.
After paying back the friend $25,000 – offering a $5,000 thank you – and dealing with a 32 percent tax, the reward was not so substantial as 25,000 to 1 odds might suggest.
“I’m going to use my share to get myself out of debt,” Yarborough said. “I’m also going to help my mother and pay off the car.”
Yarborough, who’s lived in Truckee for 11 years, is the owner of Matt’s Yard Service and joked that people needing work are going to expect cheaper prices. During the winter season, Yarborough works as a groomer at Northstar-at-Tahoe.
Harris, a Donner Summit resident of Donner Summit has lived in the area for 12 years. He works year-round at Sugar Bowl and takes vacations as often as possible during the summer season.
“I’m going to add it to the bundle I’ve already got,” joked Harris. “No. I’m going to travel. I already had a trip planned to Indonesia. Now I think I’ll stay a little longer.”
Officials at the Cal Neva Virginian treated Yarborough, his wife and Harris to dinner and a free night’s lodging at the resort.
“You’d think they’d be mad that we won,” said Yarborough, “but they treated us like we were Donald Trump.”
Hoping to benefit again, Yarborough chose the exact same numbers this past week.
“We tried using the same numbers,” said Yarborough, “and we did miserably. It hasn’t happened for 18 years and I guess it probably won’t happen for another 18 years.”
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