Billy Walters, a famed and feared professional sports bettor was born in Kentucky and had a winning streak which extended over 30 years. Walters grew up in a poor rural town of Munfordville. His father, died when he was 18 months old, and his mother, who was an alcoholic walked out on her three children shortly after his father’s death.
Their grandmother raised the three siblings, and Walters credits her for instilling a strong work ethic in him as she took on two jobs to keep a roof over their heads. At age 13 he started working, and in 1965 he went to work as a car salesman where he worked 80 hours a day setting dealership records. In 1972 he started his own business which he sold to become a full-time sports bettor in 1981.
Walters started gambling at the early age of 9 and was a losing gambler up until 1982, but this did not deter him. His success changed in his mid to late ’30s, and he had constant wins, and in 1986 Walters captured the 1986 Super Bowl of Poker, also known as the Amarillo Slim’s Super Bowl of Poker, earning $175000.
In 1980 he joined the Computer Group which used computer analysis to analyse sports betting outcomes. Throughout his sports betting career of 39 years he only had one losing year, he bet on NFL, basketball and college football. He would always place his bets through runners and claimed he could make between $50-$60 million on a good year.
His life took a turn in 2017 when he was arrested for insider trading and sentenced to 5 years in prison and fined $10 million. He was imprisoned at Federal Prison Camp Pensacola and then released to home confinement in May 2020 amid the coronavirus.
A man of steel and a noted philanthropist and has donated millions to Opportunity Village. Walters is a man that rose from the ashes to become a Phoenix with a net worth estimated at over $100 million and a sports betting legend.