Sean Pendergast

J.J. Watt Takes Care of Football Bettor With $1,000 Payout

J.J. Watt has added another group of people to his philanthropy list — football gamblers!
J.J. Watt has added another group of people to his philanthropy list — football gamblers! Photo by Eric Sauseda
It is inarguable that former Houston Texan and current Arizona Cardinal (and future Hall of Famer) J.J. Watt is one of the most benevolent and philanthropic human beings in the sports world. Either it's raising millions to help fund school athletics departments in underprivileged areas through his foundation or raising $41 million to aid Hurricane Harvey victims, Watt's generosity is legendary.

I would imagine that for every story we hear of Watt's random acts of kindness, there are five that don't see the light of day and go unreported. Such is the ethos of J.J. Watt, and anytime there is an anecdote about a new branch to his philanthropy tree, it's intriguing. It is particularly intriguing when it bleeds into one of my favorite universes — the hardcore gamblers! These are MY people!

In case you missed it, a week or so ago, in Week 10 of the NFL season, late in the first half of the Cardinals' 27-17 win over the Rams, Watt forced a fumble that was originally blown dead. If it was called a fumble on the field, Watt would have had a scoop and score touchdown. Instead, while the call was overturned and Watt was credited with a fumble recovery, the ball was spotted at the spot of the recovery and there was no touchdown.

This ultimately didn't impact the outcome of the game. The Cardinals still won. But it did impact MY PEOPLE — gamblers! This is a story of one bettor in particular, and his name is @JReyes192. AS you can see in the tweet below, the missed touchdown call cost him BIG TIME, in a three leg parlay:
If you do the math, a $27.77 bet on a +3630 payout (NOTE: +3630 is gambling parlance for 36.3 to 1 payout.) would yield a profit of $1,008. That's some serious Christmas shopping cheddar, and a very sad loss caused by inept officiating. However, like the aftermath of Harvey, in swooped J.J. Watt to save the day!
This led to massive speculation on radio shows like mine — what exactly would Watt do to help pick up the spirits of our friend @JReyes192? An autographed jersey? An autographed picture? A brick of cash? Admittedly, I thought cash would be the least likely gift, what with the optics of making a gambling payout to a bettor, but boy, was I wrong!
The story has a happy ending! Not only did Watt send the $1,000 payout (in the legendary form of two $500 money orders from Walmart, which I choose to believe Watt walked into Walmart and ordered himself at the customer service desk), but @JReyes192 took the $1,000, matched it, and donated $2,000 to the Watt Foundation, which pays for athletics gear and supplies for underprivileged schools around the country.

So the winner in the end — KIDS! At this time of year, we love that! All hail the heroes, J.J. Watt and @JReyes192!

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at and like him on Facebook at
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast