UPDATE: April Fools’ Day! We had a blast writing and sharing this story, but to be clear, it’s completely made up. The million-dollar ticket is safe and sound, but we hope you’ll find this story still has some entertainment value.
Derek Stevens, owner of The D Las Vegas, made national headlines this week for a bet on Michigan State to win the NCAA basketball championship that could reap a staggering million-dollar win. Now, he’s likely to make more headlines because he’s admitted to losing the million-dollar ticket.
“This is obviously very embarrassing,” said Stevens. “I’ve asked that everyone on my team help in the search for the ticket, and as usual, they’re rising to the occasion.”
Stevens says he had the million dollar ticket in his possession on March 30, when the photo below was taken. But now, the ticket has inexplicably gone missing.
The ticket in question was an eye-popping $20,000 wager made at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas. With odds at the time of 50-to-1 that Michigan State would win the NCAA championship, that means Stevens stood to win a million dollars from his “futures” bet.
Now, that prospect looks bleak (and not just because Michigan State is a Final Four underdog).
When we learned about the lost ticket, we contacted the Golden Nugget to ask if the bet might be honored without the paper ticket. After all, the casino’s sports book can’t take many bets of that size.
A manager at the sports book confirmed the ticket is needed to collect the winnings.
The Golden Nugget sports book manager commented, “The requirement to have a physical ticket to pay a bet, of any size, is in place to protect both our customers and our business. It’s distressing to hear we may not have to pay a million-dollar win. That would be a bummer. Seriously. We’d be completely bummed.”
The loss of the potential million-dollar ticket is made all the more tragic because Stevens intended to give a portion of the winnings to charity, as well as giving team members at The D bonuses. Read more.
Stevens and staff at The D Las Vegas remain optimistic the ticket will turn up in time to collect the million dollar win should Michigan State prevail.
“I’ve retraced my steps a hundred times,” says Stevens. “I’m absolutely sure I had the ticket when I walked down to the Golden Gate, then we came back and had dinner at Andiamo Steakhouse. The next day, I went to have some dry cleaning done. Then, the ticket just vanished. Wait. Oh, crap.”
Here’s hoping the lost million-dollar ticket is found before it’s too late!
Despite the ticket mishap, Stevens plans to go ahead with a planned gathering at The D’s Longbar to view Michigan State’s Final Four match, April 4, 2015. That’s just three days away. Because today is April 1, commonly referred to as “April Fools’ Day.” (We’ll wait.)
Sports fans are invited to wear their green and white in support of the Spartans. The game will be played on all TVs throughout the casino.
If anyone in attendance stumbles across a million-dollar ticket, we’re sure Derek Stevens would appreciate its timely return.