Who is James Adducci, the $1.2 million winner who bet on Tiger Woods?



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William Hill sports book gave out its biggest golf payout in its U.S. history when a bettor put over $80,000 on Tiger Woods to win the Masters.
USA TODAY Sports

The Masters had two big winners: Tiger Woods and James Adducci. 

Adducci, a 39-year-old self-described day trader from Wisconsin, hauled in nearly $1.2 million with Woods’ victory and made the decision to publicly disclose his win. A mini media tour followed Monday, during which Adducci described how he flew to Las Vegas earlier this month, took a bag he’d purchased at Walmart filled with $85,000 and made his first sports bet. 

“Some of the interviews have been kind of misunderstood,” Adducci told USA TODAY Sports late Monday night. “Some of the stuff — the personal stuff — I should have thought about more. I’m a normal guy.”

As details in the interviews with various outlets differed, USA TODAY Sports investigated who Las Vegas’ latest sports betting millionaire was — and court records showed a long criminal past with multiple domestic violence convictions. 

Adducci pleaded guilty in a La Crosse County (Wisconsin) court to misdemeanor domestic abuse charges four times: June 2009 (two counts), August 2014 and February 2016, according to records procured by USA TODAY Sports. He was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence in October 2013, March 2014 and May 2017, although those charges were dismissed outright or changed to lower-level misdemeanors by the prosecutor. 

“(The victim) stated James was going to strike her and had his hand back in a threatening posture,” a La Crosse police officer wrote in a report from a November 2015 incident that led to his 2016 conviction for disorderly conduct with a domestic abuse enhancement that made the crime a misdemeanor. “She was able to open her car door before James was able to hit her and dive out of the car.”

Although the charge was lowered to a non-criminal disorderly conduct, the same woman told police in 2017 that “James had shoved her placing both hands on her chest and pushing her backward.”

USA TODAY Sports does not identify victims of domestic violence. 

Judges ordered Adducci to stay away from two different women at least three times each, according to court records. As part of a bond hearing on a disorderly conduct arrest in September 2016, a judge ordered him to have “no contact with Best Western Rothschild.”

Also according to court records, Adducci has pleaded guilty to charges 12 times — including non-criminal disorderly conduct — since 2006. He served 30 days in jail for his second OWI arrest in January 2015. He also served one day each over bail jumping and disorderly conduct pleas in separate cases in 2014. 

“This has nothing to do with (winning the bet),” Adducci said when USA TODAY Sports asked about his arrests. “Check out the years of what you were talking about. OK.”

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When USA TODAY Sports said the last arrest was from May 2017, Adducci responded: “And we are in 2019.”

Adducci mentioned his wife in an interview with Golf Digest on Monday.

“She said to me, ‘I can’t stop you from doing this, because if he wins, I’ll never forgive myself,’ ” Adducci said in a story that was picked up by other outlets. “She’s a keeper.”

USA TODAY Sports could find no record that Adducci is married. 

“I’ve had the same girlfriend for a lot of years,” Adducci told USA TODAY Sports. “We have car loans and separate student loans.”

The Golf Digest story noted that Adducci “asked not to name which town” he lived in. USA TODAY Sports found that  Adducci was described as “a habitual offender” multiple times in court documents housed in his hometown of La Crosse. 

Sportsbooks often run a background check — that can include a criminal records search — before they accept a large bet from an unknown bettor like Adducci, who made the wager at the William Hill location at the SLS Casino in Las Vegas on April 9. A William Hill spokesperson declined comment when asked about the checks they run on large bets.

Asked Sunday before the winner of the Woods bet was known, a William Hill spokesperson told USA TODAY Sports: “We respect the privacy of all of our customers.”

USA TODAY Sports gave Adducci the opportunity to explain his numerous arrests.  

“Everyone and their brother can go online and look up anything they want, and I don’t give a (expletive),” Adducci said. “Obviously, I had $85,000 to place toward a bet. I have the ability to make $1.2 million. When was the last time you did that? If you want to get personal, who the hell are you to call me and think you have anything to ask me about anything?”

Follow A.J. Perez on Twitter @byajperez.

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