It was Super Bowl Sunday in Las Vegas, and drinks were flowing at a private party for VIPs at a Japanese restaurant in the Bellagio.
High-rollers bet shots from Fireball on whether the next game in Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be a run or pass. Things got sloppy. Right in the middle, Tanner Flynn, a Nashville tech salesman, sweated the last leg of an $8 parlay placed seven months earlier. The bet would pay out over $20,000, his highest ever score.
The first four legs of the parlay had already hit:
The Buccaneers, who won the Super Bowl 15-1 when Flynn placed the bet on FanDuel on July 7, 2020, went 21-6 ahead. Flynn was halfway from correctly predicting the champions of all four major US professional sports. At half-time, he posted a picture of his save on Twitter, adding: “1 more crouching half”. The tweet went viral.
“That night is a blur,” Flynn told ESPN. “I was extremely drunk and couldn’t figure out how to turn off my Twitter notifications, so it was bzzz, bzzz, bzzz, nonstop all night.”
The Buccaneers would blow out the Chiefs 31-9, completing Flynn’s wild parlay, which is paying out at around 2,600-1 odds.
Fast-forward 16 months to this week, and remarkably, Flynn is able to do it all over again. If the Colorado Avalanche defeats the Lightning and wins the Stanley Cup, Flynn will have correctly picked the champions of the NFL, NBA and NHL in a combination bet with huge odds for the second year in a row.
The Avs lead the best-of-seven Stanley Cup finals against Lightning 3-1 in Game 5 on Friday in Denver.
“It’s a little crazy,” Flynn said. “I know I’m super happy.”
On Nov. 9, nearly a year after his first big parlay score, Flynn sat on a couch in a pal’s Nashville apartment and watched his alma mater play Purdue in the season opener of the basketball season’s Boilermakers against Bellarmine. That’s when he began building another low-stakes long-shot parlay with champions of the NFL, NBA, NHL, and college football.
His friend told him not to take the Golden State Warriors to the NBA, but he did anyway. He backed the Los Angeles Rams to win the Super Bowl, the Georgia Bulldogs to win the College Football Playoff National Championship, and the Avalanche to win the Stanley Cup. As with his previous combo, he added a random UFC fight to his card – Israel Adesanya defeated Robert Whitaker in UFC 271 in February – and placed the $25 five-leg bet at FanDuel at odds of +136,367. It took him no more than 20 minutes to create the parlay, which would net $34,116.88 if the Avalanche did their part on Friday. The Bulldogs, Adesanya, Rams and Warriors have already done theirs.
“At the end of the day, I like to bet on talent,” Flynn said of the reasons for his selection. “Talent and a little action, a little revenge or a little extra motivation.”
Flynn says the parlay he placed from his friend’s couch in November is the only such parlay he placed on the 2022 champions. He added the one UFC fight to increase the odds of a payout because he had done so on his previous parlay.
“Those are the two main questions I get: ‘How many bets did you place and why did you put a UFC fight in there?'” he said.
𝐓𝐇𝐈𝐒 𝐁𝐄𝐓𝐓𝐎𝐑 𝐓𝐇𝐈𝐒 𝐓𝐇𝐈𝐒 𝐈𝐍
The Avs are three wins away from winning them with $34,000 👀
Cash it out or let it go?
(via IG/tannerflynn73) pic.twitter.com/BjhLuDKvMV
— FanDuel Sportsbook (@FDSportsbook) June 18, 2022
Flynn, 26, is no stranger to betting. He typically wagers $100 to $250 on straight bets and much less on his long shot parlays. He learned much about his gambling from his father, Deron Flynn, who has a strong interest in handicap horse racing and sports betting. The two regularly attend the Kentucky Derby together, and in recent years have made it a tradition to watch the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.
“I probably knew what a spread was when I was about 10,” Tanner Flynn said, adding that the only advice he got from his father about his current parlay was “cash out.”
FanDuel offers Flynn $20,600 to cash out his bet early. He’s passing for now.
However, he placed $2,500 worth of bets at varying odds on Lightning defeating the Avalanche to secure his game.
“Hopefully we’re good at hedging,” said Flynn, who plans to cash out on his Tesla with its potential gains. “If we go to a Game 7, I’ll probably reevaluate it.”
Flynn emphasizes that he knows how fortunate he is to be in a position to potentially hit a second straight long-shot parlay. He also knows it’s not over yet.
“It’s surreal,” Flynn said. “I’m not going crazy at this point, but my friends and family who know about this bet text me all the time. One of my buddies texted me, ‘Dude, you’re gonna make more than me two bets every year.'”