Jon Lawson Scores 150-1 Longshot On Joe Burrow Winning Heisman
Less than two weeks after Scott Berry famously hit a 250-1 longshot on the St. Louis Blues winning the NHL Stanley Cup, Jon Lawson placed a futures bet on Joe Burrow to win the Heisman Trophy at odds of 150-1. Flash forward nearly six months, and Lawson’s $500 wager had turned into a $75,000 win.
“I made the bet in late June during the WSOP,” Lawson said. “I used to own a percentage of a wine dive with Joe’s brother, Jamie Burrow, here in Omaha. Jamie had his wedding reception at our restaurant, so I got a chance to meet Joe. I was pretty upset when Nebraska didn’t go after him, being friends with Jamie and Dan, his other brother. Their family is one of a kind. They are true class.”
Lawson placed the wager in June 2019, while in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker. He was in Downtown Las Vegas and found odds of 150-1 at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. He actually wanted to place the bet for $1,000, but the sportsbook would only take $500.
“I got call from a friend of mine to see if I could place a wager on Joe winning the Heisman and I told them I would check into it,” Lawson said. “So I asked a buddy of mine who lives at the sportsbooks and he said to go downtown and look. I think I was playing a poker tournament at Binion’s and was roaming around on dinner break and stopped in to Golden Nugget. I talked to their book and they gave me the sheet. I saw Joe at 150-1 and wanted $1,000 on it, but they only gave me $500.”
Burrow was certainly one of the longest shots to win the Heisman Trophy, but it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility that Burrow could do it. In 2016, Lamar Jackson won the Heisman Trophy for his incredible season as the Louisville quarterback. His odds were 100-1 at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook at one point.
Lawson travels around playing poker tournaments. He has more than $170,000 in earnings and a few scores worth five figures. Although Lawson often finds himself in casinos, he said he avoids the pits and “fires sports accordingly.”
“I haven’t won a big poker tournament yet, so I wouldn’t know,” Lawson said with a smile when asked to compare the thrill of winning a sports bet like this to the rush you can get to winning big in poker. “Hopefully soon. I have won quite a bit of money playing cash in different sessions and both feel damn good.”
The $75,000 hit on the Burrow futures bet is the biggest sports betting win Lawson has ever had.
Being from Omaha, Nebraska, he’s a fan of the Cornhuskers, but he was rooting for Burrow and the LSU Tigers this season.
“I am a big Nebraska fan, so my love for college football has diminished kind of like the program has since Frank Solich left,” Lawson said. “This year and last year has made me feel like the 90s, rooting for Joe and the whole LSU team.”
Lawson said he even got into a bit of a social media back-and-forth with Alabama fans ahead of the two-versus-three clash between the Tigers and Crimson Tide. At the time, LSU was ranked second in the country and was traveling to Alabama to take on the third-ranked Crimson Tide.
“I was posting on Twitter and Facebook before and after Week 1,” Lawson said. “It has been awesome watching week after week with Joe and also the team. I even got in it with some Alabama fans before the game and loaded up on the moneyline for $2,000 to win $3,000 and and put $8,000 on the spread of that game.”
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was one of the early favorites to win the Heisman Trophy, alongside Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, but an injury in the middle of the season derailed Tagovailoa’s odds. Meanwhile, Burrow’s odds kept climbing, all while Lawson was still clinging to his 150-1 futures bet.
Tagovailoa played when Alabama hosted LSU, going 21-for-40 for 418 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 1 interception. He helped his team get to 41 points, but it wasn’t enough against Burrow and the Tigers, who put up 46 on the scoreboard. Burrow went 31-for-39 for 393 yards and 3 touchdowns. Burrow did not throw an interception and also added 64 yards rushing. It was Burrow’s performance in this game that made him the runaway favorite to win the Heisman.
With every week that passed, Burrow became more and more of a favorite. Going into the Heisman Trophy ceremony, Lawson said he had no doubt that Burrow would win.
On Saturday, December 14, nearly six months after Lawson placed the 150-1 wager on Monday, June 24, Burrow was crowned the Heisman Trophy winner. Lawson’s longshot futures bet was cleared to be cashed. Lawson said he also won a 12-1 bet on LSU to win the SEC Championship.
Winning the Heisman Trophy isn’t the end of the road for Burrow, who is taking the LSU Tigers into the College Football National Championship against the Clemson Tigers. Clemson is the defending champions and Lawrence is the opposing quarterback, but LSU is the favorite to win.
“I have $300 on LSU at 30-1 to win the National Championship,” Lawson said. “I also made a wager with a guy before the conference championship, where he gave me $3,000 if LSU wins to my $2,000 to Ohio State winning it, so I am freerolling that.”
Lastly, we had to ask who Lawson thinks will win next season’s Heisman Trophy.