Jhett Johnson of Casper was possibly the unlikeliest bet to win a world championship at this week’s $6 million Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

He and his team-roping partner, Turtle Powell of Texas, entered rodeo’s Super Bowl ranked 12th of the 15 top teams in terms of earnings this season in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, and Powell’s horse, appropriately named Vegas, was out of commission due to illness.

But after an Oregon roper named Richard Eiguren loaned Powell his horse, he and Johnson roped nine of 10 steers in 35.4 seconds and earned a whopping $125,625 apiece in Las Vegas to win their first world championships by less than $6,000.

“I didn’t think I’d ever get a world championship,” said 40-year-old Johnson, who earned $197,112 this season. “I’m a lot closer to the end of my career than the beginning. Years ago, you think, ‘If I keep roping good, I’ll get my chance; my time will come.’ But then you get to this point in your career and you accept that maybe it won’t. But I did. I got one.”

We have kept an eye on the progression of Jhett's run in Las Vegas and have additional stories on this possibly being his last NFR here, and another conversation about his 1st place finish on Tough Enough To Wear Pink night and what that means to a cancer survivor here.