Friday’s edition of USA Today included a cover story about Costa Rica-based websites taking bets on high school football games. The story starts with the fact that Thursday’s game between Longview and DeSoto was featured on such a site. That made me wonder how much wagering is done on the Highland Park Scots, who are usually a safe bet to win. I hadn’t given gambling on high school sports much thought since I left my first newspaper job, covering sports at the Sulphur Springs News-Telegram, in the late ’90s. Back then, there was some company whose employees wagered on what the last digit in the Sulphur Springs Wildcats’ point total would be at the end of each quarter. Every week, a woman from this company would call me and ask me to tell her the quarter-by-quarter totals. When I finally pointed out to her that she could answer her own question via simple addition, since we printed the scores by quarter in the paper, she was dumbfounded and asked me to add them up for her. Point being, I’ve always associated a certain level of intelligence with gambling on high schoolers.
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