Marco Piemonte became known as “Million Dollar Marco” over the past year while winning eight wagers that paid more than $1 million.
But Piemonte isn’t a professional sports bettor and doesn’t sell his picks. He’s a Chicago-area car dealer who is married with three daughters ages 1, 3 and 6.
Piemonte, 33, took over his father’s five auto dealerships when Al Piemonte died in 2014. Al Piemonte was described by the Chicago Tribune as “one of Chicago area’s most memorable car dealers” for his larger-than-life presence in television commercials.
Marco described his dad as his best friend.
“When he passed away, I had two choices. Sell the company or continue his legacy,” he said. “I decided to continue his legacy.
“Everybody throws shots that ‘Your daddy gave you money.’ I could’ve done nothing the rest of my life. But instead, I stayed in business and took the risk.”
Piemonte married his wife, Allie, in 2018. He said she and his mother, Rosanna, support his betting. To a point.
“My mom wasn’t a ginormous fan of the gambling until I started winning. No mom wants them gambling,” he said with a laugh. “My wife is super supportive. I feel like I wouldn’t win without her. When I lose, she tells me I can only be upset for one night. After that, I have to let it go.”
Piemonte was introduced to sports betting at 16 by one of his father’s finance managers.
“He said, ‘Kid, if your dad asks, don’t tell him I taught you,’” he said. “I’m not sure it was the best lesson to teach me at 16. But he taught me what a parlay was and a round robin. He broke everything down for me.
“I won’t lie. I was addicted straight from then. I love it. There’s no better feeling than destressing from work and betting on a game. It’s the perfect disconnect.”
Piemonte has hit seven parlays for seven figures each during his hot streak, including two in the last month.
“He’s a good player. He happens to connect the dots sometimes,” DraftKings sportsbook director Johnny Avello said. “Not all customers connect on parlays. But some do, and that’s the attraction of parlays.
“When you do connect the dots, some of them come back and pay some telephone numbers.”
Piemonte dialed seven digits Sept. 10 when he turned $25,000 into $1.2 million after hitting a four-team college football money-line parlay at DraftKings.
He cashed the biggest parlay of his life Sept. 25 when he hit a $65,000 six-teamer that paid $2.9 million at PointsBet.
The parlay would’ve paid $5.6 million had Arkansas covered instead of pushed as a 2-point underdog in a 23-21 loss to Texas A&M.
Razorbacks kicker Cam Little’s game-winning 42-yard field goal try bounced off the top of the upright with 1:30 left.
“I was literally a field goal post away from a $5 million parlay,” Piemonte said.
His improbable run began on Oct. 21 of last year when he hit a $33,000 four-team parlay that paid $1.3 million.
The next day, he rolled over $117,000 to win $1.1 million on the Rams to win the Super Bowl.
He kicked off 2022 by cashing a $30,000 five-teamer that paid $1.2 million when Georgia beat Alabama in the college football national championship.
On Jan. 30, Piemonte won a $60,000 four-leg parlay that paid $1.1 million when the Rams rallied to beat the 49ers in the NFC title game. Two weeks later, he cashed his ticket on Los Angeles to win the Super Bowl.
“This is definitely a dream for me, and I don’t take it for granted,” Piemonte said. “I am aware that it can’t last forever, but I’m going to enjoy it when I’m in it.
“I caution people that it’s no secret that the majority of the sportsbook’s wins are off of parlay losses.”
His Twitter handle is @Marco_Parlay. But he said the majority of his wagers are straight bets.
“People say, ‘You clearly place a bunch of these parlays.’ But I really don’t,” he said. “I try to build some profit on straight plays and then take some of that money and fire away on parlays with no remorse. Because mentally, I always say it’s a free roll.”
Overall, Piemonte said he’s up about $7 million over the past year. He said he bets roughly $50,000 to $100,000 per game and between $500,000 and $1 million on a football weekend.
He said the most he’s lost in a weekend was $1 million.
“I chased heavy and I lost a million bucks. It was a big wakeup call for me,” he said. “I had to tell myself, ‘You’re not superhuman and you can’t chase. Turn yourself off, reset your mind and come back to the table when you’re ready.’”
A former baseball player at IMG Academy, he said he tries to think like a coach when handicapping games.
“If I’m a coach, what am I going to attack on the other defense and the other offense, and how am I going to counter that,” he said. “When it comes to football, I believe I’m one of the best in the country. I’ve never met anyone who can outpick me in football.”
Piemonte, who shares his picks for free each week on the “100x Club” podcast, also believes in positive energy. After winning the $2.9 million parlay, he gave away a $25,000 trip for 10 to Las Vegas. He’s also given away cars, cash and Rolex watches.
“I always say you should give back because karma’s a real thing,” he said. “I believe if you take care of people when you win, good things will keep happening.”