Wes Welker: Should He Pay Back The Money?

    May 19, 2014
    Lindsay McCane
    Comments are off for this post.

Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker was one of the thousands of people to attend the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs this year, and was seen handing out $100 bills to strangers after winning a bet.

Welker sent a friend to collect his winnings. He was supposed to receive $42,295.35 but instead was given $57,193.90; that is a difference of $14,000.

“An individual believed to be a member of Wes Welker’s group on Kentucky Derby day was the beneficiary of an overpayment north of $14,000 on a wager due to a tote malfunction,” Darren Rogers, the Churchill Downs spokesman, said in a statement. “In turn, a letter has been sent to that individual in an attempt to resolve the error.”

Even though it was not Welker’s fault, many people think he should return the money. However, according to Kentucky administrative regulations, he is not required to. The regulations state that if there is an overpayment, the track is responsible and the patron is not required to repay the money.

“It is our mistake and we are not worried about the recovery of the money,” Rogers said. “We hope they come back to Churchill Downs and wager that $14,000 next year.”

Welker revealed that he did not realize that he had been overpaid. He said he could have been underpaid and he never would have known the difference. And, as for the $100 bills, he said that he handed them out rather than signing hundreds of autographs.

“People wanted autographs and pictures coming down, so I was like, ‘Hey, wouldn’t $100 be nicer?'” Welker said. “And they were like, ‘Yes.’ I was like, ‘Perfect. So, here you go.'”

Image via Wikimedia Commons

  • John M

    Pay it forward i guess. i would rather have the autograph,can`t please everyone.

    • Stefi

      He already did. He gave the money away. Where have you been??

      • Chiryder

        he didn’t give them all away. He gave away some. Instead of signing autographs. I highly doubt he would have sat there and given away over 500 $100 bills.

  • Jack Combs


    • Chris

      So Jack, you don’t think he should pay it back huh? even though it’s NOT his? Remember that when you happen to be the one who goes to the grocery store or a restaurant or wherever and the cashier or waitress or whomever short changes you 20 bucks on accident and then you go back in there and ask for it,,,, when the tell you,,,, “No” it’s good to see you’ll be so understanding,,,, Hypocritical Dipshit!!!

      • Joe

        Except that your example is the exact OPPOSITE of what happened. The cashier didn’t “short change” Welker – they overpaid him. And if it is the establishment’s policy that they take responsibility then they should take responsibility. You wouldn’t give back $14,000. Hypocritical dipshit.

        • Chris

          Oh, Little Joey,,, you are right! my mistake it is the exact opposite. Your answer however shows even more you have NO integrity at all and YOU are a complete Hypocritical Dipshit!! So if you walked out of a grocery store or restaurant or wherever and discovered they gave you an extra 20 you’d just walk away and say,,, “Idiots,, ha ha ha, they gave me an extra 20, oh well it’s mine now!” That shows you have NO integrity at all. Then in a case if your kid came home a week later fired from his/her job because they overpaid someone 20 bucks you’d be crying that “it’s not my kids fault” and then you would show exactly the Hypocrite you are!!! F’ing loser, don’t speak for what I or the vast majority would do who would return what was not ours. Just like the college kids who found the forty grand in an old sofa,,, you look at them as idiots for returning the money. You are an Idiot who just thinks that if it works in your favor then its all good, if it works against you or someone you care about its just wrong,,, Clowns like you think because its a gambling establishment that the money is dirty and have an “oh well” thought process on it. You and those who agree with you are the same fools who lose all kinds of money gambling and you like to see the ones who legitimately take your bets lose out!! You are many things little Joey,, LOSER, HYPOCRITE, Little boy with no INTEGRITY and worst of all a LIAR!!!!!!!

          • Joe

            Haha. Whatever man. We aren’t talking about a grocery a store – a location at which there is no policy stating that the overpaid money belongs to the customer – we’re talking about a horse racing venue which has exactly such a policy. If the policy was different then the situation would be different. Following rules does not mean that Welker lacks integrity. It means he paid attention in 1st grade 😉
            The college kids finding $40, 000 in an old sofa is another example that’s not applicable here. Did you actually read the article? Or did you see “Wes Welker” and “return money” in the same headline and automatically jump on the “Rich People Are Bad” bandwagon?
            *And if my kid overpaid someone $20 that WOULD be his fault, 100%. Who else could he blame? I wouldn’t try to defend him. Yet another off target shot, little buddy.

          • Chris

            Ah Little Joe!! I have nothing but respect for the case majority of rich people!!! If it weren’t for them most of us wouldn’t have jobs!!! Once again your assumption was wrong!!!!

          • dave

            hey chris shut the f up. joe is right you are wrong

          • Chris

            hey David!! Kiss my Ass!!!

          • Chris/David/Joey

            I find this hilarious. It’s like fighting between brothers. I’m Chris fighting with my youngest brother Joey. Then my other brother David jumps in out of nowhere…. Our actual names.

  • Dan Kurschner

    My father used to say that the one thing other people can never take from you is your own integrity. Welker needs to decide what has greater value to him; the money or his personal integrity.

    • Stefi

      Right…so he should go back to every person that he gave the money to, ask for it back, and then give back to Churchill Downs…

      • Dan Kurschner

        No. He gave that money away of his own accord. He should give back the amount that was over-paid and keep his rightful winnings. That is what is meant by integrity. I am sorry if this seems old fashioned to you, but that is the right way to live.

        • Jo

          I can’t say that I agree with your definition of integrity on this. Just because he is asked for it back doesn’t mean that he lacks integrity because he doesn’t return it (it’s gone.) I’d say he has integrity because he gave the winnings away. If you made a bet with someone for 20 bucks & you accidentally handed them 40, then they went and bought beers for everyone not realizing they had an extra 20….you then realized you gave an extra 20 & asked for it back but everyone you were around had a beer in their hand from that extra 20 you inadvertently gave away….you’d probably have the integrity to realize it was your mistake & chalk it up as a loss. Which is what Churchill should do.

          • Chris

            Ah,,, no Jo,,,, if he had integrity the clown that took the 40 instead of the 20 would have said,,, hey, you only owe me 20 not 40!!! It’s not HIS money!! GET IT!!! if he(Welker) had integrity he’d pay the money back that’s not his!!!!!!!

          • http://www.dachia.com/ Dachia

            It is his money. That is the policy of Churchill Downs. $14,000 is nothing for them and they know it and quite clearly are simply shrugging their shoulders. It’s nothing to them. And it is now his money.

    • Chiryder

      Integrity is doing it of your own accord. The track announced to the press that they overpaid him. By in large they’re guilt tripping him into paying it back. They said he doesn’t have to. At the same time they didn’t have to tell the whole world he was overpaid.

  • MP

    Sounds like he didn’t count it, and if he didn’t then maybe he got an extra $14K and maybe he didn’t.

  • larry d

    pay back or give to charity. it doesn’t belong to welker. now we will see what kind of man he is.

    • Guest

      I’ve decided to ‘edit’ this comment into nothingness. *Poof!*

      • http://www.dachia.com/ Dachia


    • Stefi

      idiot. He does not have it. He gave it away. Under which rock were you hiding that you do not know this?!?

      • Mac

        Stef, that’s like saying, “The bank gave me 200.00 too much, but I spent it, so I don’t have to pay it back.” That’s theft – at best! Don’t say Welker “doesn’t have it.” He has plenty and he SHOULD pay it back. It wasn’t his, mistake or not, it WASN’T HIS! Idiot.

        • Jo

          this is not a bank tho. This is gambling. He shouldn’t have to pay it back. Hell. With as much as he gave away while there, odds are Churchill made it back by what he gave away. btw: name calling points a finger at you. Not the other person.

        • Q-Money

          What a stupid argument Mac – in your example it is AGAINST THE LAW to spend that money if you reasonably knew you were given more money by a FINANCIAL INSTITUTION and you didn’t return it. In this case it is reasonable Wes would not have known he received extra money because he’s filthy rich and likely wouldn’t have counted it all right there and because he started just handing out $100 bills immediately (doubt he kept track of how much he gave away). And the nail in the coffin… the track rules clearly state the money goes to Wes due to their error. There is no law here prohibiting him from keeping the money.

        • Joe

          I love how you’re calling someone else an idiot when the Derby has publicly admitted that it was their own mistake and Welker has absolutely zero obligation to pay the money back. Who’s the idiot here?

  • rick

    KEEP IT! It’s the derby’s error, they should take the loss.

    • K

      It’s Churchill Downs’ error, not the Derby. The Derby is an event.

  • EricG

    Keep it, donate it, pay it back. Who cares? At the end of the day he is entitled to the money. It’s part of the rules at the track. I don’t understand the comments about his morals. He won a wager and just happened to be the recipient of a 2nd bonus in the form of overpayment. All parties are now aware and per the rules he has no obligation to return the overpayment. It’s called gambling.

  • Antonio Montana

    14 Grand to this guy is chump change.

    • Stefi

      Right…that is why he gave it away!

      • mac

        Right…and that’s why he should give it back!

        • Jo

          regardless of what he has or doesn’t have if this was a regular jo that this happened to & they had spent the $. They would not be expected to pay it back. Just because he has $ people want to attack his morals. Track rules say it’s his. Plain & simple.

  • Ion Pribeagu

    if any morals, than the betting company is immoral…taking money from hard working people..period, I wish they overpay all the bettors..and close the gates…well better NOT…who cares

  • doing the right thing

    the $ should go to charity…

    • Stefi

      he did…he gave it away!

  • Stefi

    Sheesh…he did not even keep the money. They have video of him giving the money away. It was all over the internet. With all the money Churchill Downs has, talk about greed!

  • Louie Kiskowski

    Yeah because the track deserves some moral considerations. He gave it away, score one for the good guys.

  • Jumpyburd

    If the track overpaid due to an error on there part why would you pay it back. Says the track is responsible. Bank Error in your favor. Collect 200$

  • Donald

    “However, according to Kentucky administrative regulations, he is not entitled to.”

    I think the author means “compelled” or “obligated.” “Entitled” basically means the subject of the sentence is owed something.

  • Mario

    The law is straight forward its his money. Those that are saying he should return the money should ask yourself, would you? Just because he makes millions doesn’t mean he should do anything different you would.

  • Chiryder

    BULL. If they weren’t worried about repayment…they wouldn’t have announced it to the press. They’re trying to guilt trip him into paying the money back.

  • Jamesinkeys

    I like his style…..

  • Kamau Thabiti

    if he were a Black guy the police would have already put him in jail, ransacked his house, confiscated his computer/cellphone, setup grand jury investigation and bail prices.

    • Dave

      If it was a Black guy, he would have spent the money on purple drank

  • Al

    Churchill Downs would NOT have notified him if they had underpaid.

  • Jeff Reed

    The racetrack screwed up. They admitted it and they also admitted this has happened before. And although they sent out a request for the money to be returned…. the racetrack does NOT expect to be paid back.

  • Michael Beckner

    Did anyone read the part about Churchill saying it is not his responsibility to pay it back? They know he will come back and bet it all away. They made a few million more then $14,000.

  • PaulWolfe

    Walker is right, had they underpaid, he never would have known about it, and they probably would not have tracked him down to tell him. The amount is not so much that he should have realized the error on his own.

  • Sally Mae

    too bad for the track, but it is just a drop in the bucket of what the track made. They’re cool with overpaying, and they just don’t sweat the small stuff.

  • dangjin1

    if the rules state he doesn’t have to repay the money then he is not doing anything wrong. though morally may be another matter.

  • Susan Fink

    First of all he didn’t give it all away, Derby Security came over and stopped him from handing out the money because they were afraid a mad dash for cash would cause a ruckus. Second of all, based on law, he DOES NOT have to pay it back. Thirdly how often has a mistake happen and they have underpaid a winner, If it happened that they over paid then obviously it could happen that they under pay. The average person not familiar with betting on a horse race doesn’t always know what they actually win. Based on the odds and the amount of his win, this was some sort of combination win (trifecta, exacta, etc.). As far as I am concerned he is being a dirt bag, or not showing integrity, he has broke no laws and it seems the track isn’t too terribly worried about it. Matter of fact they should have never made it a media issue to begin with, because I am sure there is no media list issued for anyone that might have been underpaid! END OF STORY!

  • Eddie

    Neither Church Hills Downs or Wes are poor. Either way it goes, it wouldn’t make a dent in their financials. As the RULES state he isn’t obligated to pay it back. I think it’s a no situation and especially when it comes to gambling. The House always makes it’s money. And I am sure the Wes does a lot of Charity donations. I would say drop the whole thing, a lot of fans got free money, so nobody has been hurt by this.

  • picksixkid

    no way is his money ,tracks error.

  • BLazed


  • Andre

    Welker is a fucking turd . . . nothing more to say.

  • ExJax

    As the song says…”go on take the money and run….”

  • rja

    finders keepers

  • Richard Vergis

    I would think that the IRS is going to want to know why someone else was cashing his tickets..ID must be shown and paperwork filled out..for sure a CTR…and maybe taxes…..

  • Ron Weber

    like they would care if patrons made a mistake?

  • wes is a di ck

    Just, goes to show what an a hole Welker really is, somehow he thinks he is better then they are and since they made a mistake, well to bad I am wes fin welker I dont have to return this. Guess what karma is a b I tch. Wes will get his.

  • Jim Trainor

    What was his bet

  • Phil Fugate

    Ef them.

  • phillip c

    Horse racing is parimutuel, which means betting amongst ourselves. A percentage is taken from all wagers, often above twenty percent for exotic winnings, and is re-distributed to purses for owners, trainers, jockeys for all races. Even though Welker gave money away at the track, that money in excess was taken from those of us who lost money on the race. The honest thing for him to do is to give back the overpaid amount. I’m quite sure that – despite the track spokesman saying he wasn’t worried about the money – the mutuel teller is in quite a bit of trouble over the snafu, too. Mutuel tellers most always have to repay if their box is short. And those short over $100 on the day are responsible for their mistakes. As a player, I once had a teller try to pay me $10 thousand on a ticket worth $1 thousand, and despite the strong urge to walk away, corrected the teller and told her that my winnings were just one thousand. It was tough, but it was the right thing to do. And I doubt the track would have been quite as cordial toward me if I had walked away since I don’t have the celebrity or high-roller status of Welker. Plus, Vegas didn’t pay those of us who bet on the Patriots when Welker dropped a pass from Brady that would have iced the Superbowl and likely covered the spread in a game the Giants came back to subsequently win. Pay it back, Wes. You are a horse owner, you know what’s right.