Cubs fans did not cash betting slips, kept them as souvenirs

Money is temporary, but memories last a lifetime. At least, that’s what some Chicago Cubs fans are telling themselves. Though many bet on the Cubs to win the World Series in 2016, Vegas sports books turned a surprising profit after a number of fans decided not to cash their tickets.

Yep, it seems like a fair amount of Cubs fans instead opted to hold onto their betting slips as souvenirs. CG Technology, a company that operates multiple casinos, estimates about 30 percent of tickets went un-cashed, according to David Purdum of ESPN.

That figure seems pretty high, but it’s believed to be accurate.

“When we saw the number, we were just all extremely surprised at how big it was,” Jason Simbal, vice president of risk management for CG Technology, said. “We went back and had to check like three times to make sure there was no mistake.”

The vast majority of the uncashed bets on the Cubs were small in size and placed over the counter at Strip casinos, signs that tourists were involved. The average amount of the uncashed Cubs bets at CG Technology properties was only $26. However, with most bets placed at odds around 4-1, the uncashed tickets saved the book more than $100,000 in payouts.

In case you were thinking maybe some fans are just being lazy and will eventually collect their winnings, that’s not the case. There’s a 180-day deadline to turn in betting slips. That passed in May.

For any of you currently shouting four letter words at your computer screen, keep in mind that some of those bets were small and possibly made by people who live out of town. Their gains might have been too small to be worth the hassle.

That’s probably the case for most of these, though one casino noted two $600 bets that would have paid out $3,600 didn’t return. So this is definitely an extreme situation.

Some Cubs fans don’t want to cash in on a historic moment. (AP Photo)
Some Cubs fans don’t want to cash in on a historic moment. (AP Photo)

We’ll try not to kill some of the Cubs fans who decided to hold onto the slips. The team hadn’t won a World Series in over a century. We can see how there would be some sentimental value involved with holding on to a betting slip. You would get some nice bragging rights. “Hey, I bet on the cursed Cubbies and won!” We can see the appeal.

We can also see the appeal of a brand new TV, or a nice bottle of expensive Scotch whiskey. You could use both as an appropriate way to celebrate your intelligence and the Cubs’ win.

So, we turn it to you, dear readers. How much money would you eat in order to hold onto a rare keepsake like this? Everyone has a price, right?

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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