THE MOST FEARED SPORTS BETTOR IN NEVADA HISTORY?
THAT'S WHAT AN ODDS MAKER CALLS BILL WALTERS WHO
ONCE BET $3.5 MILLION ON A SUPER BOWL - "60 MINUTES"
A Las Vegas Professional Gambler, Walters Says he's Never Had a Losing Year
Pro gambler Bill Walters bets tens of millions of dollars on sports each year, calling his losses "feathers" and his wins "chicken." So far, there's been chicken at the end of every year he has made a living on gambling in Las Vegas, a winning streak that's made odds makers call him the "most dangerous sports bettor." Lara Logan gets a rare interview with Walters, who lets her in on his technique, for a 60 MINUTES story Sunday, Jan. 16 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET, 7:00-8:00 PM PT) on the CBS Television Network.
On the week Logan visited Walters in Las Vegas, he won close to a million dollars betting on pro football with the sports books run by the casinos. But he also bet on college basketball, not faring as well. "Yesterday was a feathers day as we refer to in our household. It was feathers yesterday. There was no chicken," he tells Logan. "I had a pretty bad day... I lost $257,200. I could lose again today... I've had losing weeks... months... [but] never a losing year."
That success, plus big bets -- he once bet $3.5 million on a Super Bowl and won - has brought with it a respect and fear in Las Vegas. "He's a shark and a whale. He's a great white," says one of the city's most respected odds makers, Kenny White. "It means he's the most dangerous sports bettor in the history of Nevada... That's the damage he can do to a sports book," says White. Watch an excerpt.
The gambling life, which he began in earnest when he arrived in Las Vegas broke and in debt in 1980, has made him extremely rich. He owns seven homes and a $20 million private jet. He has a group of anonymous partners who place his wagers for him and consultants who advise him how to bet. He calls one of them a "savant," for his uncanny recall of sports statistics. Walters' influence is so powerful that he can change the point spread on certain games so he can bet on the team he really wants with the point spread he thinks will make him a winner.
It all began in the hills of Kentucky where he grew up poor and made his first bet, a penny, on a pool game he played at the age of six. He doesn't only bet on sporting events, he'll bet on the golf course, too. He tells Logan he has won $400,000 on one hole alone and once took home "around a million dollars" from a golf match.
Asked if there is anything he wouldn't bet on, Walters replies, "Not really."