Gambler who won big on Tiger Woods' Masters win reportedly has lengthy criminal history

Ryan Young

Sunday was a memorable day for Tiger Woods, to say the least.

Woods won the Masters for the first time in 14 years, marking his first major tournament win in 11 years. The story was one that rattled the sports world, and deservedly so.

Woods, however, wasn’t the only big winner last weekend.

Wisconsin native James Adducci, 39, won nearly $1.2 million off Woods’ win at Augusta National after placing an $85,000 bet on him earlier this month. It was also, believe it or not, his first sports bet.

The sportsbook, William Hill U.S. in Las Vegas, called it its “biggest lost ever.”

Adducci told Golf Digest that he had planned to place the bet about a month before doing it, and that he cleared it with his wife first before he grabbed a flight to Las Vegas with “everything I had that I could afford to lose.”

“She said to me, ‘I can’t stop you from doing this, because if he wins, I’ll never forgive myself,’” he told Golf Digest. “She’s a keeper.”

Once he got the clear, Adducci says he flew to Vegas and withdrew the $85,000 in cash from a bank and put it into a backpack he purchased at a Walmart, jumped into a shared Lyft ride to find a casino that would accept his bet.

After two turned him down, according to Golf Digest, he landed at SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, which is run by William Hill. The rest, of course, is history.

Adducci’s troubled past

Adducci, however, apparently has a lengthy criminal past.

According to a report from USA Today, Adducci:

  • Pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic abuse four times in La Crosse County, Wisconsin, in 2009, 2014 and 2016.

  • Was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence in 2013, 2014 and 2017, however all of those charges were either dismissed or changed to lower level misdemeanors.

  • Was ordered by a judge to stay away from two different women at least three times each.

  • Was ordered by a judge to have “no contact” with a Best Western hotel in Rothschild, Wisconsin.

  • Is described as “a habitual offender” in La Crosse, Wisconsin, court documents multiple times.

  • Pleaded guilty to charges 12 times since 2006.

  • Served 30 days in jail for his second OWI arrest in 2015.

  • Served one day in jail for bail jumping in 2014.

  • Served one day in jail over disorderly conduct pleas in 2014.

A police report from November 2015, per the report, said that a domestic violence victim “stated James was going to strike her and had his hand back in a threatening posture,” and that “she was able to open her car door before James was able to hit her and dive out of the car.”

USA Today was also unable to find any record of Adducci being married, despite multiple interviews where he references his wife.

“This has nothing to do with [winning the bet],” Adducci told USA Today on Monday when he was asked about his criminal past. “Check out the years of what you were talking about. OK.”

A William Hill spokesperson declined to comment to USA Today about any background check that the sportsbook ran on Adducci, only saying that “we respect the privacy of our customers.” It’s not uncommon for sportsbook to run background checks on bettors before accepting large bets, especially from unknown bettors.

"Everyone and their brother can go online and look up anything they want, and I don’t give a [expletive]," Adducci told USA Today. "Obviously, I had $85,000 to place toward a bet. I have the ability to make $1.2 million. When was the last time you did that?

“If you want to get personal, who the hell are you to call me and think you have anything to ask me about anything?"

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 15:  James Adducci of Wisconsin stands with a ceremonial check of his winnings after cashing his ticket at the William Hill Sports Book at SLS Las Vegas Hotel on April 15, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Adducci placed an USD 85,000 wager on golfer Tiger Woods to win the 2019 Masters Tournament.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for William Hill US)
James Adducci, the bettor who won big after Tiger Woods' win at the Masters, reportedly has a lengthy criminal history. (David Becker/Getty Images)

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