Las Vegas casino owner has $1 million reasons to cheer for Michigan

Michigan State

Michigan is four wins from a national championship, and a huge payday for one casino owner. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)

Maybe the third time will be the charm for Derek Stevens. And if it is, the Big Ten’s national championship drought would be over.

Stevens, a Michigan native and Las Vegas casino owner, has a bet that would pay him $1 million if the Wolverines win the national title. He had a similar bet on Michigan last year, and also on Michigan State when it made the Final Four in 2015.

Stevens, the owner of The D Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, placed a $25,000 bet on Michigan to win a national championship back on March 3 — the day before the Wolverines beat Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament final.

Back then, the odds were 40 to 1. Now Michigan is around 10 to 1 to cut down the nets.

Stevens placed the bet with Tilman Fertita, who owns the Golden Nugget casino in Las Vegas, the Houston Rockets and is a big fan of the Houston Cougars team that Michigan just beat in Wichita.

So far, so good for Stevens, who received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan and got his master’s at Wayne State.

Michigan plays Texas A&M in the Sweet 16 on Thursday in Los Angeles.

Nick Saban is entering his 12th season at Alabama. (Brynn Anderson | AP Photo)

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