Notre Dame Grads Win Big With Online Betting Startup
Allowing millions of people to place their bets on the Kentucky Derby, and more, with just a few clicks
NEW YORK, May 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — In the Digital Age, it was only a matter of time before horse racing went online. So, this weekend, there are three Notre Dame brothers that will be paying close attention to the Kentucky Derby.
Graduates Bill, Walter, and Tom Hessert created DerbyJackpot.com, the first social horse-betting site that makes it easy to bet, watch and win on live races like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes. Using Facebook, mobile platforms, and some great game design, the brothers designed a way to bring horse betting to a younger generation.
“You place a bet with two clicks from your phone or computer,” Walter explained. “We send your bet and money into the race track via the Internet. You watch streaming video of the live race. The track instantly pays out your winnings in to your DerbyJackpot account.” Boom. It’s that simple. Easy online betting every day – and especially for the Triple Crown races.
The idea for DerbyJackpot emerged after the Hessert brothers had left South Bend, but they were heavily influenced by their time at Notre Dame. “All of our friends would take a road trip every year and have incredible parties at the Kentucky Derby,” Tom noted, “Regrettably, I was never able to make it, so we built Derby Jackpot instead.”
It’s no coincidence, either, that on most days of the year a replica of the famous golden dome is shown on the background of the game. For this weekend, that’s been replaced with an illustration inspired by Churchill Downs – also featuring plenty of Notre Dame-inspired metallic gold coloring.
The site has become an virtual derby party in the days leading up to the Kentucky Derby, with free cash giveaways and deals for those looking to cash in at Churchill Downs this weekend. On the site’s blog (www.DerbyJackpot.Tumblr.com), content has focused on everything from the best julep recipes, to hat fashion for horses and, of course, betting tips.
The site is growing quickly and players across the United States, and with jackpots regularly in the thousands, its no surprise that players love the game. The DerbyJackpot team wants to keep the love affair with their site growing. For example, when a user signed up, placed a $5 bet on his first day, and won $11,000 soon after, the Hessert brothers flew out to hand-deliver the prize to the user, in cash.
So far, the New York-based startup has attracted the attention of Freakonomics co-author and University of Chicago professor Steven Levitt, who’s now the site’s advisor, as well as recruiting Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian as an advisor and investor. According to Ohanian, the tech entrepreneur has become a regular on the site, both on and offline. “I’ve been known to place bets while working in a cafe, tabbing over to my DerbyJackpot window when the bell is about to go off,” he told us.
“We have an incredible development team,” Walter said. “We are building more fun, social, easy ways to place bets online.”
For more information, visit www.DerbyJackpot.com