The only reason Scott Berry was in Las Vegas back in January was to operate a booth at a sales conference. A casual gambler, he likes blackjack and craps but hadn't gotten a chance to hit the tables on this work trip.
But before his trip to McCarran International Airport to head home, the St. Louis native made a few fateful futures bets on his favorite teams --- $400 on the St. Louis Blues to win the Stanley Cup at 250-1 and $100 on the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series at 15-1 -- at the Caesars sportsbook at Paris Las Vegas.
Four months later, his Blues bet -- which would win $100,000 -- is four wins away from cashing as St. Louis heads into the Stanley Cup Final.
"I bet with the heart on this one," Berry told ESPN. "Before I hit my flight I decided that had I been here gambling I probably would've lost around $500, so I pulled that out of the bank account. My max withdrawal was $500, so that was all I could take out. I put $100 on the Cardinals at 15-1 and dumped the rest on the Blues."
After looking at the odds at a couple of sportsbooks (the Blues were only 150-1 at The Bellagio), Berry placed the wager, got on the plane and texted his brother and father about the bet. With the Blues out of the playoff picture in January, they weren't as optimistic as Berry about St. Louis' chances.
"Preseason, I knew they had a good squad," Berry told ESPN. "But I'm no pro. My brother and father are a little more risk-adverse than I am. They probably thought I was an idiot."
Berry said he didn't start thinking the ticket had a legitimate chance to cash until the Blues crept into the playoff picture a few months ago. He has bought tickets to every home game throughout the playoffs on StubHub.
Through PropSwap, a third-party marketplace not associated with any casinos that allows bettors to buy and sell futures bets, Berry has received several offers to buy his ticket. He turned down a $20,000 offer for the ticket before Game 7 against the Dallas Stars ... and then watched the game in the stands with a potential $100,000 pay day riding on the outcome.
"That was tough, probably not the smartest move," he said. "People were trying to talk to me during the game, but I wasn't really responding. My face was as white as a ghost. After Pat Maroon, the St. Louis native, buried that goal, I was in tears there for a hot minute. It was pretty emotional."
Berry doesn't have a price threshold he's looking for in order to sell the ticket, instead trusting his gut and fandom to lead him.
"I'm not a millionaire by any means; I could obviously use the money," he noted. "It's one of those things where you're stubborn and betting with your heart."
While his brother wants him to take the payout, Berry remains undecided, though he joked that he needs the money to pay his StubHub fees. If the Blues make the Stanley Cup Final, he'll "be there for as many games as possible."
Last Wednesday night, Berry received a new high offer of $40,000.
"I heard about that Texas Tech guy [in the NCAA tournament], and that was a shame," Berry lamented. "I don't want to be that guy. I want this to have a happy ending."