Check out this article, originally published in UTSanDiego. You can have your chance to own one of the finest estates in the covenant of Rancho Santa Fe. On August 15, Billy Walters, a sports betting icon, will be auctioning off his 9-acre estate, known as El Milagro, spanish for "the Miracle." You can view the original article here.
Sports gambling icon Billy Walters will auction his Rancho Santa Fe estate next month with no reserve price.
The 9-acre estate, called El Milagro, which is Spanish for "the miracle," includes a 21,000 square-foot home that has seven bedrooms, eight full bathrooms, three half bathrooms, and a variety of amenities including a tennis court, pool and putting green.
The property at 5425 Los Mirlitos in Rancho Santa Fe was originally listed in July for $19.995 million. Had it sold at that price, it would have been more expensive than any home sold in the county in 2013. The most expensive property sold last year was a Del Mar property for $18.75 million, public records show. Instead, El Milagro will go to the highest bidder on Aug. 15.
The home is owned by Billy Walters, an entrepreneur and sports betting icon who bought the property in 2010 for $8.5 million. A news release from auctioneer Concierge Auctions says Walters invested $7 million for renovations and interior design. In a video advertising the auction, Walters said he and his wife Susan had plans to make El Milagro their main home, but have since decided to live in one of their homes closer to the coast, a decision he called difficult.
Walters said in a statement that he has confidence auctioning El Milagro is the right move.
"I've staked my livelihood on making risky bets. The safest bet I ever made, though, was on El Milagro," said Walters. "When you have a timelessly gorgeous Spanish-Mediterranean estate set just minutes away from one of the best golf courses, one of the best schools, and one of the best race tracks in the entire world, you just can't lose. I never thought I'd say this, but with El Milagro, 'the house always wins.'"
Walters was in the news recently after federal authorities launched an insider trading probe involving Walters, golfer Phil Mickelson, also of Rancho Santa Fe, and investor Carl Icahn, the Wall Street Journal reported. All three have denied any wrongdoing. The New York Times later reported that Mickelson's role was overstated.
The auction will be live at the property 6 p.m. Aug. 15, 2014 with previews daily from 1 to 4 p.m. and by appointment.