clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The history of the Super Bowl National Anthem bet

The first bet of the Super Bowl is often wrapped in patriotism and pop stardom.

Demi Lovato performs the National Anthem prior to the start of Super Bowl LIV between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

The Super Bowl national anthem length bet is one of the more fun ones to make on Super Bowl Sunday. When divas such as Mariah Carey, Beyonce, and Christina Aguilera performing vocal gymnastics with the eyes of the world on them, nobody knows how long it’s going to take. And that’s what makes the wager so much fun.

Last year at Super Bowl LIV Demi Lovato came in well under the 1:56 that past performances suggested would be the number she’d hit from first note to the end of “brave?” (remember, the Star Spangled Banner ends in a question!). The former Disney Channel star came in at a brisk 1:49, and bucking a recent trend of longer interpretations of Francis Scott Key’s biggest chart-topper.

The most famous version of the song ever performed might be by Whitney Houston at the peak of Operation Desert Storm in 1991 at Super Bowl XXV. Taking place at The Old Sombrero in Tampa, Houston knocked it out of the park over 1:56 of incredible.

The list of GOAT pregame national anthems is basically this and Marvin Gaye at the NBA All-Star Game in 1983. That’s it, and that’s all.

Betting on the song really didn’t come into vogue until years later, but now it’s such a common practice you’ll see Twitter explode once the song is over and everyone is offering recap posts.

Aaron Neville clocked in at a brisk 1:25 in 1990, but when he performed with Aretha Franklin and Dr. John in 2006, it took 2:09. Alicia Keys got the most out of her time, going for a record 2:36 at Super Bowl XLVII with just her and a piano.

Since 1990 the average version has taken 1:54, but it seems to be ticking up in recent years; It’s at 1:57 in the 21st century, and at 2:00 flat since 2010.

At DraftKings Sportsbook, while you can’t bet on just the national anthem alone, you can pick whether you think the shortest scoring drive during the game will be greater or less than the length of the song before the game.

This year it’s country music star Eric Church and Philadelphia’s Jazmine Sullivan, a soul artist with 12 Grammy nominations but zero wins. How long the duo chooses to take the stage for will have plenty of people with a vested interest standing not only to salute the flag of the USA, but to see how long a drive they need from either team to cash in a winner as well.

Here are the odds at DraftKings Sportsbook for any scoring drive to take less time than the singing of the National Anthem

Yes: -335
No: +250