HELENA (KPAX) — The Grizzlies lost the FCS championship game to the Jackrabbits, but there was a silver lining for some people.

The largest ever Sports Bet Montana handle for a Griz game was wagered for Sunday’s big game.

Sunday’s game against the Jackrabbits brought in a handle of $328,000, the most ever wagered through Sports Bet Montana during a Griz game, including games against rival Montana State University.

To help put that in perspective, the average handle for the 2023 season for the Grizzlies — excluding Sunday’s game — was $56,000.

Brady Schulz, Sports Betting Coordinator at Montana Lottery, said that Cats fans very well may have rallied around their opposition in the face of the national championship game.

“Montanans stick together, you know. Even though our team's out, we’ll still root for these guys ‘cause some of these guys are from Montana and we still want them to do well and it's fun to watch, so,” says Schulz.

The payout for Sunday’s game was 76% with a total amount of bets at 8,000.

Sports Bet Montana began in 2020. Since then, it’s had around $179 million worth of handles. Before operating costs, about $8.9 million of that has gone to the state to support the general fund as well as to help fund STEM scholarships.

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