Imagine going to bed one night before waking up £12,500 richer the following morning. That’s what happened to one lucky player this week who made light work of the £25,000 NBA Pick 5 Point Margin pool.
The player opted for a £1 stake, meaning that they were vying for half of the £25,000 jackpot and, with just a single line in play, there was no margin for error.
At 23:00 on Monday night the opening legs got underway as the Detroit Pistons hosted the Indiana Pacers and the Chicago Bulls visited the New York Knicks.
In the first leg the player had opted for the Detroit Pistons to win by 1-4 points and a 96-94 victory was sufficient to make it a successful opener.
Meanwhile, in New York, a predicted 5-8 point victory for the Knicks also proved to be a shrewd selection as a 24 point masterclass from Bobby Portis steered them to 105-98 triumph.
Legs three and four began at 02:00 on Tuesday morning. In the third leg, the Sacramento Kings took on the Denver Nuggets with the player predicting a 5-8 point victory for the away side. Sure enough, the Nuggets coasted to a 101-94 win to make it three from three.
The player foresaw a close encounter in Phoenix, opting for a 1-4 conquest for the Utah Jazz over the Phoenix Suns, and they delivered in dramatic circumstances.
With the match tied at 95-95, Donovan Mitchell took charge and was fouled with 1.2 seconds remaining on the clock. He sunk one of his two free throws and, with no time for the Suns to offer a response, the Jazz nicked a single point victory.
Just 3.25 units remained active going into the final leg, a 99.7% reduction of the 1,178 which had started the pool. The leg was to take place in the early hours of Wednesday morning and, following four fairly close encounters, the player needed a decisive 13-16 point victory for the Miami Heat over the Atlanta Hawks to claim a huge win.
Having resisted the urge to Cash Out, the final leg got underway and the Heat soon asserted their dominance, leading by three points at the end of the first quarter and ten points at the half.
By the end of the third quarter they were 18 points ahead and it suddenly looked as though the player may have underestimated just how dominant the Florida side would be. The Hawks would need to up their game in the final quarter to save the ticket and, luckily, that’s just what they did, winning the quarter by three points to secure a final score of 112-97.
With a 15 point victory margin for the Heat, the player had landed a decisive fifth leg and, with it, a magnificent £12,5000 return on their £1 stake. What a ticket!