Bill Walters makes money by hoping that he will make money. Did you get that? A very successful sports bettor (read: gambler) and real estate developer, Bill Walters went from having virtually nothing to a net worth of $200 million. Widely considered to be the most successful sports gambler ever, he seemingly has money to burn, and an uncanny ability for knowing when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. This month, amid a federal investigation into whether he's been dabbling in insider trading while spending time with his betting buddies, Bill Walters put his massive mansion in Rancho Sante Fe, California up for auction. With a starting bid of $20 million, it's obvious where he's going to get a least some of his gambling money this year.
Bill Walters was born in Munfordville, Kentucky, and placed his first bet on the World Series in 1955, using money from his paper route. He didn't win the bet, but it was the beginning of a lifelong career of betting on sports. As his passion for the practice grew, so did his rate of success and his earnings. By the time he was in his twenties, he was working with a group of people who would travel to airports to read newspapers from all over the country. Using the information they gleaned, he would place his bets. As technology has made it easier than ever to keep track of stats and current sports information, he has seemingly become unstoppable. He's been described as "super-brilliant" and is "unanimously considered at the top of his profession". He's also somewhat of a mystery. Very few people know how he continues to place great bets, or where his money comes from exactly. While the majority of it comes from betting, a good portion comes from investing in real estate development. As someone who grew up dirt poor, he seems to have developed a fondness for owning property. He currently has seven properties of his own, as well as several golf courses, a couple car dealerships, and a private jet. He purchased his mansion in Rancho Santa Fe just three years ago, and spent $7 million renovating it. Now he hopes to auction it off to the highest bidder – and with a $20 million starting bid – there's definitely an emphasis on high.
Bill Walter's house at 5425 Los Mirlitos Street has seven bedrooms, eight full bathrooms, and three half bathrooms. The massive mansion sits on 9 acres of land and is 21,000 square feet. In addition to the Spanish-Mediterranean style and beautiful layout, Bill Walter's house also includes a 45,000 gallon, 80-foot swimming pool, a spa, a golf course, a gourmet kitchen with state of the art appliances plus a separate breakfast nook that seats eight, and a dining room that seats 30. There is also a library with a gold leaf ceiling, a wine cellar which can accommodate 5000 bottles of wine, a guest house, a pavilion with two spaces for barbecuing, a full-size tennis court, and a lot of home security. Bill Walter's house is part of the very posh, very secluded Rancho Santa Fe community. Being part of the wealthy enclave affords homeowners access to a major golf club, 60 miles of horseback riding trails, another 18 miles of hiking trails, 24 hour security guards, and a top public school system. It actually looks to be worth $20 million. Though Bill Walters has most likely bet that someone will pay more for it. Odds are, he's probably right.