Indiana Man Wins Nearly $1 Million Bet After Backing Washington Spread vs Steelers

The Washington Football Team pulled off one of the shocks of the NFL season on Monday night, handing the previously unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers their first defeat of the season.

Washington improved to 5-7 with the win, drawing level with the New York Giants at the top of the NFC East. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, slipped to 11-1 but retained the AFC's first seed.

Outside the nation's capital, few will have celebrated the 23-17 win as much as an unnamed punter in Indiana who, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, won over $971,000 after betting $500,000 on Washington to cover the spread.

The Football Team entered the game a six-point underdog and was 47-50 to cover the spread. The six-point margin may seem generous considering Washington arrived in Pittsburgh on the back a two-game winning streak and the Steelers had two fewer days of rest after playing the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday, a game which was postponed three times from its original primetime slot on Thanksgiving due to a major COVID-19 outbreak within the Ravens organization.

At the same time, however, Pittsburgh was 8-3 against the spread going into the game on Monday night, the second-best record in the NFL through the first 12 weeks of the season. The Steelers were 4-2 against the spread at home, while Washington was 6-5 against the spread overall and 2-3 on the road.

So this happened...

Not a bad Monday 😂 https://t.co/H2JFc5jV0E

— FanDuel Sportsbook (@FDSportsbook) December 8, 2020

Historically, Pittsburgh has long been a foe for Washington, who had last defeated the Steelers in Week 12 of the 1991 season and were on a six-game losing streak against Pittsburgh.

The Football Team's prospect of improving its record looked slim as Pittsburgh took a 14-0 lead in the second quarter when Ben Roethlisberger hit James Washington for a 50-yard touchdown.

It was the veteran quarterback's second touchdown pass of the game, which he finished with 305 passing yards and a costly interception late in the game.

Trailing 14-3 at halftime after Dustin Hopkins kicked a field goal late in the second quarter, Washington cut the gap to four points thanks to a one-yard touchdown run by Peyton Barber in the third quarter, only for Pittsburgh to widen the gap to seven points again thanks to Matthew Wright's field goal in the fourth quarter.

Washington hit back as Alex Smith hit Logan Thomas for a 15-yard touchdown to tie the game with 3:14 left in the game, before Hopkins hit a field goal to stretch the lead to six points.

Smith completed 31 of his 46 passes for 296 yards in what was by some distance his most famous win following his return from a life-threatening injury he suffered two years ago.

With the Steelers needing a touchdown to tie the game, Roethlisberger was picked off by Jon Bostic with 1:59 left in the fourth quarter, leaving Hopkins to hit another field goal to ice the game.

According to NFL Research, Washington's 4-7 record was the worst by any team in NFL history to defeat a team that entered that game with an 11-0 or better record.

NFL, Washington Football Team
Jon Bostic #53 of the Washington Football Team celebrates with teammates following an interception during the fourth quarter of their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 7 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Washington defeated the previously unbeaten Steelers 23-17. Justin K. Aller/Getty