Bill Benter has made nearly a billion dollars wagering on horse racing, utilizing an algorithm he created to analyze up to 120 different variables on each horse entered in a particular race. In his first public interview with bloomberg.com, Benter describes his ascension from counting cards at blackjack tables to hitting one of the largest paydays in the history of Hong Kong racing.
It was Nov. 6, 2001, when Benter placed a series of 51,000 bets (at a cost of HK$1.6 million) on a mega-jackpot called the Triple Trio, which requires gamblers to correctly selected the first three finishers in three different races. When no individual correctly chooses all nine horses, the pot rolls over to the next card. On this date, the Triple Trio had been unclaimed for six consecutive cards, and the jackpot had grown to over HK$100 million (about $13 million).
When his algorithm correctly selected the nine top finishers, Benter was thrilled. However, he had already decided not to cash in the winning ticket; it was more about the challenge then the prize money. The Hong Kong Jockey Club officials were dumbfounded.
“The ghost of the unclaimed $118 million Triple Trio is still banging around like an unwanted poltergeist,” wrote a columnist for the South China Morning Post.
Eventually, Benter wrote a letter to the HKJC, and while that letter remained unpublished, the money was donated to charity. He still bets on horse racing to this day, living in Pittsburgh and running a medical transcription company.
Read more at bloomberg.com.
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