For four decades, other gamblers have tried to be Billy Walters while investigators have tried to bring him down. And for four decades, the world’s most successful sports bettor has outrun them all. ESPN Magazine has published an intriguing look at a legend:

He left two failed marriages and a car salesman gig behind in Kentucky and, after a misdemeanour gambling conviction, headed west with a tiny bank account and a heavy drinking habit…

Continuing:

Walters, now 68, is thought to have bet more money more successfully than anyone in history, earning hundreds of millions of dollars. Walters beats the odds everywhere — in the stock market, real estate, criminal proceedings and his true wheelhouse, sports gambling. His talent brought him from a life of poverty in rural Kentucky to one of wild success. He owns a fleet of car dealerships, several high-end golf courses, a private jet and fabulous homes in places like Palm Desert and Cabo San Lucas.

Read the story Billy Walters: A Life On The Line in ESPN Magazine. Words by Mike Fish.