There’s no shortage of John Daly stories when it comes to his gambling. The polarizing major champion frequented casinos as much as he did the golf course during his career, and sometimes it caused problems in his personal life.
In one instance, Daly walked out of a casino with a cool $55,000, but every last dollar ended up under a bridge because Daly was annoyed with his wife.
John Daly used to have a crippling gambling addiction
When Michael Jordan speaks about his gambling habits on and off the golf course, it’s playful and harmless. But for John Daly, his gambling addiction almost ruined his life.
Daly turned into an avid gambler once his golf game started to bring him massive paydays. In his “30 for 30” ESPN documentary “Hit It Hard,” Daly estimated he lost $50 million gambling throughout his life.
“We figured I lost about $98 million and won about $45 million gambling,” Daly said. “So, yeah, I lost around $50 million.”
Daly famously spent his free time playing $5,000-per-pull slots and $15,000 blackjack hands. One night in Las Vegas, Daly lost an absurd $1.65 million playing mostly slots. He eventually got his gambling addiction under control, but the losses put Daly in a dark place for a long time.
Daly once won $55,000 and threw it all off a bridge
With all the losses Daly incurred during his high-stakes career, you would think he would hold on tight to all his winnings. That wasn’t exactly the case this time.
After winning a hefty sum of money at a Memphis casino, Daly chucked the entire wad of cash off a bridge because his wife was annoying him. Daly told the story to ESPN Radio’s Dan LeBatard Show in 2016.
I won like $55,000 in the casino and I said (to Sherrie), if you’re going to yell and scream at me about this, I threw it over the bridge going over to Memphis from Arkansas. I threw all the money out the window and said, ‘You know what, if you want that money, you can go find it. But let me tell you something, you don’t have a job. You’re not working. I’m supporting you, I’m paying all the bills.’ My buddy took her to a McDonald’s drive-thru and got her two cheeseburgers and some french fries and a soda, and (was like), ‘OK, this is how you can live from now on if that’s the way you want it.’John Daly
It turns out even when Daly was winning money gambling, he was still throwing it all away.
John Daly’s wife went back to scoop up the cash
Daly clearly didn’t care about the $55,000 he just won, but his wife Sherrie surely did. In her book, Teed Off: My life as a player’s wife on the PGA Tour, Sherrie admitted to the story and said she went back to the bridge afterward to scoop up the bills left behind.
It might sound crazy, but that was just a day in the life for the Daly family at the time.