LAS VEGAS -- Alan Springer and Victor Velazquez were the envy of many at Yahoo! on Friday because they drew the coveted assignment to cover the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez boxing match at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
But the pair will be remembered for much more than getting to cover a championship boxing match.
Springer, a sports video producer, and Velazquez, a videographer, arrived at the MGM Grand at 10:45 a.m. on Friday -- Nov. 11, 2011 -- in order to be there to cover the weigh-in. Springer realized that it would soon be 11:11 a.m. on 11/11/11 and he hatched a crazy plan.
He talked Velazquez into going to the roulette table. Springer opted to put, you guessed it, $11 on 11. Velazquez followed suit, bringing along his fiancee, Katie Mohlenhoff, though he got the last laugh. More on that in a minute.
"I figured it's 11/11/11 and I was in Vegas, so I should press my luck," Springer said. "My wife always plays roulette, so I figured 'What better way to continue to play the odds than to be on number 11 with $11?' We
were coming up on 11:11 a.m., so I said, let's go for it."
The trio placed their bets. The superstitious Springer put down $11. Mohlenhoff dropped a $10 on 11, but Velazquez bet $25. It was 11:10 a.m. when they placed the bets.
As the croupier put the ball in the wheel, the clock turned to 11:11. And then, a strange thing happened. The 11 actually came up.
So, at 11:11 a.m. on 11/11/11, Springer bet $11 on 11 and won. He received a payout of $385. Mohlenhoff got $350 for her $10 wager. And Velazquez, the high-stakes gambler of the group, walked away with a cool $875 win.
"I saw my friend Alan betting and I said, 'If it's going to land on 11, I'm going to bet big, because it would make for a great story,' " Velazquez said.
The group became celebrities -- at least in Yahoo! Sports circles -- and happily collected their winnings. At least they had a better story to tell than getting the opportunity to interview Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach later.
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