NEW YORK — Another strange Super Bowl start paid off again for a perennial Jewish sports bettor.
Jona Rechnitz, a 31-year-old real estate owner in New York, made $25,000 for wagering that the Seattle Seahawks would score the first points of Super Bowl XLVIII on a safety.
Rechnitz’s proposition bet paid out at 50-1 odds thanks to an errant snap that flew over the head of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning on the first play after the opening kickoff.
A copy of a $500 betting slip with the name “Jona” written on top was posted to gossip site TMZ on Monday.
Rechnitz made headlines for winning a similar wager just two years earlier.
In 2012, Rechnitz made $50,000 off a $1,000 gamble when the New York Giants scored on a safety on the New England Patriots’ first possession of Super Bowl XLVI. After that game, Rechnitz pledged to donate the proceeds from his win to charity.
A second betting slip predicting the same outcome of the Denver-Seattle matchup in the amount of $300 bore a time stamp dated within five minutes of Rechnitz. That ticket wwas posted to Instagram by Ari Schwebel, who works at the Rechnitz-owned JSR Capital. Schwebel’s ticket paid $15,000 in earnings.
It is unclear whether Rechnitz placed any other bets on Super Bowl XLVIII, which the Seahawks won, 43-8.
An alumnus of Yeshiva University, Rechnitz has made headlines for his unorthodox Jewish philanthropic efforts spawned from sporting events.
Last May, the New York Daily News reported that Rechnitz schmoozed billionaire Stewart Rahr at a Knicks game for a $100,000 contribution to Yeshiva Ketana in Manhattan and an unnamed Jewish educational program in Israel. Rahr also gave a contribution to the Simon Wiesenthal Center after the game, where Rechnitz claimed Rahr was looking “to get significantly involved.”
According to TMZ, Rechnitz intends to donates this year’s winnings to the Wiesenthal Center and to the foundation in Rahr’s name. (Rechnitz had declined to comment on what he plans to do with his latest sports betting haul, Schwebel’s brother told JTA on Sunday.)