LAS VEGAS – Derek Stevens, co-owner and CEO of the D Las Vegas Casino Hotel and Golden Gate Hotel and Casino, is wagering big to see his home state school, Michigan State, pull off an underdog victory in the 2015 NCAA college basketball tournament – to the tune of $1 million.

On December 5, 2014, Stevens placed a $20,000 wager on the Spartans at 50-1 odds at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino. After the Spartans’ Sunday win against the Louisville Cardinals, Stevens is now only two games away from a $1 million payout.  

“I approached several casinos that weren’t willing to take on a bet of this magnitude but in the spirit of friendly downtown competition, I went to the Golden Nugget’s owner and my personal friend Tilman Fertitta, who had the guts to take my wager,” said Stevens, a Michigan native. “Saturday’s game will be a great matchup as Michigan State and Coach Tom Izzo have truly impressed the country. I realize I’m still an underdog but so far, it’s been a good position to be in.”

If Michigan State takes home the national championship and Stevens in turn claims his $1 million winnings, the local Las Vegas entrepreneur plans to give back to his employees and his community. Every person employed at the D or Golden Gate when the bet was placed will receive a bonus. A portion of the winnings will also be donated to the Tarkanian Basketball Academy while the rest will be invested in the continued re-development of Downtown Las Vegas.

Tony Miller, Golden Nugget’s Race & Sports Book Director said, “Michigan State has always been viewed as a dark horse for the tournament, so Derek’s wager is definitely a courageous one. This bet will elevate the excitement and anticipation in Downtown Las Vegas this weekend.”

Michigan State fans from across the country are invited to wear their green and white and root for the Spartans at the D Las Vegas’ upcoming “Michigan State for $1 Million” party during the school’s Final Four match against Duke University on Saturday, April 4 at 6:09 p.m. ET. The game will be played on all TVs and will be broadcasted on full audio throughout the casino.


About the D Las Vegas

the D Las Vegas delivers the fresh, energetic attitude and fun atmosphere synonymous with downtown Las Vegas. The new casino hotel boasts 629 remodeled rooms and suites and a unique two-level casino feature modern and vintage floors. Cocktails, beer and frozen beverages abound inside the casino at LONGBAR and on the Fremont Street Experience at D Bar. the D offers contemporary American fare at D Grill, Detroit’s legendary Coney Dogs at American Coney Island and premium steaks and authentic Italian dishes at Joe Vicari's Andiamo Italian Steakhouse. The Showroom at the D Las Vegas features outstanding entertainment ranging from award-winning dinner theater and Broadway productions to music, comedy and more. Follow the D on Facebook and Twitter.


# # #

Media Contacts

Kaley Briesmaster/Kara Rutkin

Kirvin Doak Communications