How Much Money Did Montanans Wager on the Brawl of the Wild?
Nothing gets the blood pumping like doing a little gambling. There's just something about that amazing feeling you get when everything lines up and you instantly have more money than you did just moments earlier. My favorite is when your slot machine in Vegas starts flashing and making so much noise that you become the attraction that everybody has to get a glimpse of. It's just a good feeling when you're able to start placing bets with the house's money, that's when it really gets fun!
It doesn't provide quite the same visual stimulation as those fun slot machines in Vegas but betting on sports is probably my second favorite (and equally frustrating) way to gamble a few bucks. You can watch a game with two teams you don't even care about and it'll have you glued to the tv as you pray for things to fall your way. And since sports betting in Montana is now legalized it only makes sense that the Brawl of the Wild would see some serious action from Montana bettors.
Sports betting in Montana was legalized in May of 2019 and fans have been able to officially place wagers since March of 2020. A KPAX story says that in the year and a half of Sports Bet Montana being operated by the Montana Lottery the college football game that had the most money wagered on it was Oregon vs. Utah. That game had a little over $31,000 in bets attached to it. Of course, there was no Griz-Cat game last year because of the pandemic and as many might expect the Montana vs. Montana State game over the weekend easily became the most wagered-on college game to date.
The 2021 version of the Brawl of the Wild almost quadrupled the $31,000 in bets from that Oregon vs. Utah game! More than $119,000 was wagered on Saturday's game with almost $90,000 being paid out. It was a great moment to see Griz players hoisting the Great Divide Trophy for the first time since 2015. One thing that made it even better for some Griz fans was being able to enjoy the moment with a little extra money in their pocket. I wonder how much will be wagered next year?