# What are 99 to 1 Odds? A Thorough Betting Guide for Long Shots

Hey there fellow betting enthusiast! Have you ever noticed those tempting long shot odds like 99:1 or 1000:1 on offer and wondered what insane payouts they represent? As a lifelong stats geek and sports betting fanatic, I wanted to provide a comprehensive guide explaining precisely what these astronomical betting odds mean.

Stick with me through this 5000+ word epic journey and you‘ll learn all about massive underdog odds, potential payouts, converting between formats, and whether chasing mega scores is smart betting. Grab a coffee, let‘s dig in!

## Betting Odds Refresher

First, a quick refresher on what betting odds generally represent. Sportsbooks offer odds as a way to attract balanced betting interest on all outcomes in an event.

If the Lakers and Celtics are facing off, the bookies will adjust the odds slightly so both teams attract some bets. If they left it at the true 50/50 probability, everyone would just pile on the favored Lakers at even odds.

By tweaking the payouts, like +150 for Celtics and -200 for Lakers, bettors are enticed to sprinkle a bit on the underdog Celtics too. This ensures the sportsbook turns a profit no matter the outcome.

The odds offered are not meant to be a literal probability. The adjustment attracts betting volume, not project the statistical chances. This distinction becomes really important when we look at massive long shot odds!

## Long Shots vs Favorite Odds

Betting odds generally fall into two main categories:

Favorite Odds – These have very low payouts, like -300 odds on an expected win. The number is negative, meaning you risk more than you stand to win. Heavy favorites are “chalk” picks expected to win.

Long Shot Odds – These offer huge potential payouts, like +5000 or +10000 odds. The number is positive, meaning a small wager risks a little to win a jackpot amount.

As the number gets bigger, the outcome is considered more and more unlikely. +500 means a \$100 bet would payout \$50,000! Lottery-type numbers for sure.

Next we’ll look specifically at what insane odds like 99:1 or 100:1 mean to bettors and sportsbooks.

## Understanding 99:1 Odds

Odds like 99:1 or 100:1 represent an extremely improbable event in the eyes of bookmakers. But they don’t literally mean a 99% chance of losing. That’s crucial.

At 99:1 odds offered on an underdog, a \$1 wager would return \$99 profit. With your \$1 stake, the total payout is \$100.

The implied probability is only 1.01%, calculated by 1 / (99 + 1). But many statistical analysts estimate the true probability of +9900 type odds is more like 0.01% or 0.001% – much lower despite the big payouts!

Let‘s compare some other huge odds:

Odds Payout on \$1 Bet Implied Probability
10:1 \$10 9.09%
50:1 \$50 1.96%
100:1 \$100 0.99%
500:1 \$500 0.20%
1000:1 \$1,000 0.10%

The bigger the number, the more improbable, but the higher the potential payout for our low-risk buck!

## Sportsbook Perspective on Long Odds

You might be wondering – why do bookies willingly offer odds paying 500:1 or 1000:1 if those long shots hit? Wouldn‘t they get crushed paying out millions?

Turns out, it‘s not as risky as it seems thanks to a couple factors:

• The high volume of losing bets at those odds outweighs the few wins. If 10,000 people bet \$10 at 1000:1 odds, the book only needs 1 win to cover 10 winners.

• Capped payouts limit liability. \$50 bets at 5000:1 may max out at \$20,000 payout, not the full \$250,000.

• It generates exciting publicity when someone beats the odds. Rare events like 8000:1 shots winning make headlines!

• Long odds entice bettors to open accounts and bet more. Lotto-fever is contagious!

The table below shows just how often long shots hit in various sports based on historical data:

Odds MLB NBA NFL NHL
100:1 Hit 1 in 458 bets Hit 1 in 235 bets Hit 1 in 164 bets Hit 1 in 184 bets
500:1 Hit 1 in 1,256 bets Hit 1 in 876 bets Hit 1 in 663 bets Hit 1 in 714 bets
1000:1 Hit 1 in 2,651 bets Hit 1 in 1,532 bets Hit 1 in 1,307 bets Hit 1 in 1,346 bets

As you can see, even at 1000:1 the bets only hit once in every thousand(s) placed. The rarity makes the headlines when one cashes!

## Probability vs. Implied Odds

As a math nerd, this is a key distinction. The implied probability from 99:1 or 100:1 odds diverges greatly from the realistic probability of that outcome.

True odds on random events like:

• Guessing a shuffled deck order: 1 in 80 undecillion (that‘s an 8 with 67 zeros!)
• Royal flush in poker: 650,000 to 1
• Meteor landing on your house: Less than 1 in 1 trillion

These demonstrate how the true probability of something at "100 to 1 odds" in sports betting is likely astronomically lower. Like 1 in a billion or trillion type long shots.

Bookies shade odds to entice action on all sides, not present an objective forecast. So huge odds like 500:1 or 5000:1 seem incredible, but represent outcomes far more incalculable than the odds imply!

## Famous Long Shot Bets

Looking at historical examples gives us an idea of how monster underdog odds work in real life:

• \$50 bet on 8000:1 odds of Tiger Woods winning the 2008 US Open paid out \$400,000

• £50 on 5000:1 odds netted \$250,000 when Leicester City won the Premier League in 2016

• In 1967, Mick Jagger put £30 on his band topping UK charts at 100:1, scoring £3,000

• £200 bet at 2500:1 odds won a cool \$500,000 on horse Mine That Bird winning the 2009 Kentucky Derby

• A British bloke won £550,000 off a £5 bet on the 2012 US election at 110,000:1 odds (!)

These dramatic stories illustrate how a small sums can turn into life-changing money if the 1,000:1, 10,000:1 type moonshots hit. Lotto fever at its finest!

## Payout Tables Based on Bet Size

To visualize how much you could haul in based on the size of your bet, check out these payout tables at various odds:

### 100:1 Odds

Bet Payout Profit
\$1 \$101 \$100
\$10 \$1,010 \$1,000
\$100 \$10,100 \$10,000
\$1,000 \$101,000 \$100,000

With \$100 wagered at 100:1, you‘d bank \$10,100 if your pick hits the jackpot. Let‘s ride!

### 500:1 Odds

Bet Payout Profit
\$1 \$501 \$500
\$10 \$5,010 \$5,000
\$100 \$50,100 \$50,000
\$1,000 \$501,000 \$500,000

Here you can see how life-changing payouts are possible if you catch the right 500:1+ long shot.

### 1000:1 Odds

Bet Payout Profit
\$1 \$1,001 \$1,000
\$10 \$10,010 \$10,000
\$100 \$100,100 \$100,000
\$1,000 \$1,001,000 \$1,000,000

A \$100 bet at 1000:1 returns an absolute fortune of \$100,100 if your miracle hits!

### 10,000:1 Odds

Bet Payout Profit
\$1 \$10,001 \$10,000
\$10 \$100,010 \$100,000
\$100 \$1,000,100 \$1,000,000
\$1,000 \$10,001,000 \$10,000,000

Life-altering winnings are possible from a simple \$10 or \$100 flutter at astronomical odds like 10,000:1!

Of course in reality, maximum payout rules would likely cap it before reaching the full amount. Gotta read that fine print!

## Converting Odds Formats

Before you can start placing those moonshot wagers, it helps to understand how the odds formats convert:

Fractional – Uses fractions like 99/1. Pays the numerator for each denominator bet.

Decimal – The full return including original stake. 99:1 is 100.0 decimal.

Moneyline – Used in US sportsbooks. +9900 means payout \$9900 on \$100 bet.

The formats convert logically:

• Fractional: Divide numerator by denominator and add 1. (99/1 = 99 + 1 = 100.0)

• Decimal: Subtract 1 and divide into 1. (100.0 – 1 = 99/1)

• Moneyline: The number shows payout on \$100 bet. (+9900 = 99/1)

Here are some examples:

Fractional Decimal Moneyline
500/1 501.0 +50000
10/1 11.0 +1000
1/10 1.1 -1000

Easy enough. Now let‘s get down to business!

## Factors That Can Reduce Payouts

We‘re all fired up to smash our bookies with the next 500:1 underdog winner. But before backing the long shots, be aware of some fine print:

• Maximum payouts often attach to the longest odds. Capped around \$100k or \$250k.

• Bet amount limits also apply, restricting wagers to \$10 or \$20 on extreme odds.

• Books will adjust odds before an event if they see heavy action. Sorry, no more 500:1 if it drops to 100:1.

• Payment calculations may reduce payouts further based on complex liability formulas.

The headline number looks incredible, but make sure to read the details carefully before firing on those monster odds.

## Betting Strategy for Long Shots

If you insist on chasing the elusive 10,000:1 payouts, some tips:

• Only bet amounts that would be an acceptable total loss, like \$1 or \$5.

• Compare odds across books to find the highest potential payouts.

• Consider smaller bets at even longer odds for higher reward potential.

• Don‘t forget there‘s still solid value on likely winners at shorter odds.

• Have fun, enjoy the thrill – but avoid reckless bets chasing astronomical odds.

The huge odds look so tempting, but anything over 500:1 is effectively a lottery ticket. Proceed wisely and responsibly my friends!

## The Verdict on 99:1 Odds

We‘ve covered a ton here. To summarize, while 99:1 or 100:1 odds tempt you with a potential big score, the true probability is likely several orders of magnitude lower.

Sportsbooks know most bets at these odds will lose, but the few payouts are covered by the high volume of losing wagers. It‘s win-win for them.

As a bettor, the appeal lies in risking a small amount for the infinitesimal chance at a fortune payout. But approach long shots responsibility and don‘t blow the rent chasing 1,000:1 unicorns!

For me, I‘ll happily make some small bets at anything over 500:1 when the stars align. Remember, you can‘t win if you don‘t play! Over the long run, I‘m still sticking to my +150 favorites though.

Well, that‘s a wrap! Thanks for sticking it out through my long-winded monologue on long odds. I had a blast geeking out on one of my favorite betting topics. Let me know if you have any other big questions on the psychology and math behind different kinds of odds. I‘m always down for more sports betting gab. Cheers!