Elmhurst resident Marco Piemonte didn’t expect that his hobby of online sports betting would win him more than $1 million.
But Piemonte -- son of the late local car legend Al Piemonte -- received a payout of more than $1.2 million this week via the online gambling app PointsBet.
“This has been a little bit of a roller coaster for me.” he said in a Wednesday telephone interview.
Piemonte added that he had just joined the PointsBet app last week, though he has been doing online sports betting since Illinois legalized it statewide in 2019.
Piemonte placed an initial wager of $30,000 as part of a five-game football parlay, or a growing bet hinging on winning a sequence of individual wagers. The more bets, the longer the odds -- with a higher payout.
“I had some underdogs in there,” said Piemonte, who typically posts his picks online via social media. “I had the Cincinnati Bengals to beat the Kansas City Chiefs, I had the Arizona Cardinals to beat the Dallas Cowboys, I had the L.A. Rams plus 9½ points and the Chargers just to win their game.”
Piemonte’s winning parlay streak climbed above $624,000, which caught the attention of PointsBet officials. They were surprised when Piemonte opted not to cash out and instead placed a wager on the University of Georgia beating the University of Alabama in Monday’s College Football National Championship.
“Congratulations to Marco on winning over one million dollars,” said PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken in a statement. “We loved watching every minute of it.”
According to PointsBet, Piemonte’s fractional odds of winning his parlay bet were roughly 40 to 1, or a 2.5% chance.
“In my mind, I felt way better than 2.5%,” said Piemonte, who added that some of the wagers he made were during the games.
Piemonte is the general manager of Melrose Park-based Al Piemonte Auto Group, which was started by his father in 1953. Despite his big win, Marco Piemonte said he has no plans to turn his online sports betting hobby into a full-time career.
“If I was to quit my job, there’s 490 employees who would be devastated,” Piemonte joked.
Piemonte also clarified that the enormous “G” logo that he’s gnawing on in his Twitter photo does not represent the Green Bay Packers. It’s actually for the Georgia Bulldogs.
“I have no connection to the school,” Piemonte said. “But (the Georgia Bulldogs) were the final win for me to win the money, so they will be forever in my heart.”