Reba McEntire accidentally caused an uproar in the betting world with her Super Bowl national anthem performance.
The over/under on the length of the song is always a popular prop bet, and by adding an extra “the brave” at the end of her rendition, McEntire pushed the clock past the set line of 90.5 seconds. Some argued the song ended when she finished the lyrics, others when she finished singing.
Sportsbooks aren’t sure how to handle it.
John Ewing, PR manager at BetMGM, first said the under hit, then said the operator paid bettors on the over and the under.
DraftKings and FanDuel didn’t align—DraftKings Network published an article supporting the under, while FanDuel’s staff agreed it was the over. Adding to the chaos, that article has since been unpublished.
Wagering on events outside of game play such as the national anthem isn’t allowed on major U.S. sportsbooks. The national anthem prop bet was available on these platforms for bettors only in Ontario, but U.S. bettors found ways to participate through alternative platforms like offshore sportsbooks.
The same situation occurred in 2019 when Gladys Knight added a second “the brave” to her performance. Like BetMGM, sportsbook BetOnline.ag paid out on both sides of the line. That was the first Super Bowl since sports betting became legal again for some fans in ’18, so the stakes weren’t quite as high.