Super bet for Super Bowl

Sharky's Cantina in Edgartown, shown decorated for last year's Super Bowl. — Gabrielle Mannino

Island restaurateur J.B. Blau might be out several thousands of dollars if the Patriots win at Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, but he’s OK with it.

Back in mid-December, when the Patriots season was at a chilling winter low after two straight loses, Blau went on Facebook and offered customers who liked his post a $250 gift card to his Sharky’s restaurants if the Patriots went on to win Super Bowl LIII by four points. People who liked the post had to show up to the Sharky’s Super Bowl party. If they couldn’t attend, they could still get a $50 gift card.

By the Dec. 30 cutoff date to qualify, 472 people had liked the post. If the Patriots win, and every person who responded to the post shows up, Blau could be out $118,000.

Blau called it a “post of positivity” that was meant to lift spirits during the Patriots’ struggles. He said there’s always a good chance the Patriots will make it to the Super Bowl, but he wanted to give encouragement to the loyal fans who show up at Sharky’s on Sundays to watch the Patriots play.

The die-hard Patriots fan in Blau wants the team to win by several points. The restaurant owner on Martha’s Vineyard in February part of Blau wouldn’t mind the team winning by only three points.

After tallying the numbers, setting up gift cards, and organizing table reservations for the upcoming game, Blau said he’s learned one important lesson.

“I’ve learned that the Patriots don’t need my help,” he joked. “I knew what I was doing. I knew there was a big chance I’d get burned by it, but you know, that’s life. I figured it would be fun, and here we are.”

To qualify, customers who liked the post in December have to RSVP on Facebook, and attend the party for the entire game. The 472 people who liked the post have to respond by midnight on Friday for a chance to win.

Blau encouraged everyone to attend the Super Bowl parties at Sharky’s in Edgartown and the Loft in Oak Bluffs, which will be open during the Super Bowl for the first time ever.

Despite the potentially large payout, Blau is happy to see not only the Patriots win big, but his customers as well.

“I’d rather give away the money and have the Patriots win,” he said. “It’s a fun thing that got people talking. I’m excited to watch.”