They say that when you’re a reporter, you never want to become the news yourself. For WESH Channel 2 multimedia journalist Zach Maskavich, that continues to be a struggle in ways he most certainly could not have predicted.
Super Bowl LV takes place in Tampa on Sunday and reporters all over the country are looking for unique angles in their coverage of the big game. Given that he works in nearby Orlando, Maskavich found his niche standing outside of Raymond James Stadium on Friday, recording some of the sounds coming from inside. That’s how he ended up posting a video of Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church’s national anthem practice run on his Twitterfeed, clocking in at two minutes and sixteen seconds.
— Zach Maskavich (@ZachMaskavich) February 5, 2021
Given that the length of the anthem is a well-known prop bet for Super Bowl gamblers each year, that’s some pretty valuable information. And in terms of this year’s anthem, the over/under was sitting at around two minutes, depending on the oddsmakers, at the time Maskavich posted his video.
However, as soon as the video started making the rounds, those numbers started to change, per ESPN. With this handy information now available, bettors scrambled to place bets on the over with bookmakers like Australia’s PointsBet, who had to halt betting due to the overwhelming demand. Meanwhile, Pinnacle Sports out of Curacao initially had the over/under set at 1:58, with -110 odds to bet either side. Within a few hours following the posting of the video, the price soared to -1,500 before they eventually had to halt betting as well. This appeared to be the case for many other international oddsmakers, as such bets aren’t legal in the U.S.
Maskavich, as you might imagine, started hearing about it from gamblers on Twitter.
“I just thought it was pretty funny,” Maskavich said to ESPN. “Some of the responses have been hilarious; some people are really mad.
“I had a feeling it was going to gain some traction, leading up to the Super Bowl, and people liking prop bets. But I didn’t think it was going to blow up like it did. People are reaching out to me, wondering if Vegas paid me to do it, and all these other crazy shenanigans.”
Ariel is one of my best friends, she knows a lot more about the gambling industry than me. But also, if for some reason my tweet CHANGED THE BETTING LANDSCAPE…I’m all for it https://t.co/GhCwEyfje5
— Zach Maskavich (@ZachMaskavich) February 6, 2021
Of course, a practice run is a practice run, so it doesn’t mean the actual anthem will clock in at that time on Sunday. But if you’re doing some friendly betting (for funsies, of course) and someone unaware of the video is trying to goad you with an over/under around two minutes (Demi Lovato clocked in at one minute and 49 seconds last year), you might just have the advantage you were looking for.
Meanwhile, as we mentioned, national (or international) attention isn’t something entirely new for Maskavich. You might possibly remember him thanks to an unfortunate moment during a 2018 high school football game that landed him (and his crotch) on SportsCenter’s Not Top 10.
— Zach Maskavich (@ZachMaskavich) October 26, 2018
We look forward to seeing Zach go viral again sometime around 2024/2025. We’ll keep an eye out.