By Ben Bolton
MARIETTA, GA — A Marietta man could cash in some serious coin with an Atlanta Falcons win in Super Bowl LI.
Lifelong Falcons fan Chuck Ellis placed a $100 bet on sportsbook.com in September that his team would win the Super Bowl. With 100/1 odds, a Falcons victory would mean a $10,000 reward for Ellis.
“I put down 100 bucks, and I didn’t really think about it again,” said Ellis. “Then as we started going along, and we could win the NFC South, I was like ‘Holy crap this might actually happen’.”
Ellis has held Falcons season tickets for over 25-years, but started placing an annual championship bet 10 years ago.
“It’s not a large amount, about $50 to $100, because the odds are usually huge,” said Ellis. “I felt like I was doing it to be a great Falcons fan, and I hoped one day it might come through. I’ve probably lost $1000 over the years in just betting in jest, but if this one comes through it’s ten grand, so it’s pretty cool.”
At 3-years old, Ellis attended his first Falcons game during the team’s inaugural season in 1966. He went to Miami for Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999, where the Falcons lost to the Denver Broncos 34-19. And to no surprise, you can find him in the stands in Houston when his hometown team takes on the New England Patriots.
“People always ask me what I will do if they win,” said Ellis. “I say I’ll probably just cry like a baby in the stands if we finally get that off our back. It would be huge.”
The Georgia native has not given up on his team through the good and bad seasons. In 51 years, Atlanta has claimed 351 wins and 449 losses as a franchise. With only one previous Super Bowl appearance, Ellis is cherishing his team’s opportunity.
“I always made the obvious comment. I just want the Falcons to win it once before I die,” said Ellis. “It was kind of a funny comment, but now that I’m in my 50s, I’m like holy crap this is true. I really do want them to win it once before I die.”
From his father down to his son, the tradition of rooting for the Dirty Birds runs strong is Ellis’ family. His son Chas, who currently lives in China, attended each game with his dad starting at age two.
“He used to tease me all of the time,” said Ellis. “He would say ‘Why did you force me to become a Falcons fan, because they are so bad every year’. I said it’s ok because one year it will be our season.”
Chas searched last week for flights from China to Houston to be there on Sunday. Due to the time difference and his job, Chas won’t be in the stands. However, Ellis knows his son will be there with him in spirit.
“The Falcons are a massive part of our relationship, and win or lose we love them,” said Chas.
As for Super Bowl predictions, Ellis and his son believe the Falcons will come away victorious, and raise the Vince Lombardi Trophy as champions. That would mean a nice payday for the lifelong fan, but for Ellis, it’s not all about the money.
“The bet is just a thing that might come through, and that’s cool,” said Ellis. “It’s never bad to get a little extra money in your pocket, but no I don’t care about the bet at all if I had to choose between the Falcons winning it or getting some money. That’s a no-brainer.”