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.'"
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