Do you want to know the weirdest bets ever made in the history of gambling?
First, a little introduction to Korea’s gambling scene. The World Casino Directory says that there are 23 casinos scattered throughout South Korea. However, there is only one legal casino – the Kangwon Land Casino & Hotel, located 88 kilometres from Pyeongchang. Locals here are allowed to gamble.
South Korea has been working on its laws to finally adapt to the gambling industry and make a profit out of it. Soon enough, the casino operators from the outside can penetrate the country and run their business.
People have been fond of games of chance and gambling, betting money or goods on the result of events. One of the easiest ways to gamble is to play the lottery. People will bet on anything, even if the highest of odds are against the bettor, and people will also have the weirdest bets ever made.
The first on our list of weirdest bets is the one made by a publicity-shy Welshman. He made a £30 (US$50 value) bet in 1989. The chance was about five things that would live on until the year 2000: Singer Cliff Richard will accept a knighthood; the U2 band will still play together; and TV shows “EastEnders,” “Neighbours,” and “Home and Away” would again televise their shows. He waited eleven years to win his bet and walked away with £194,400 (about US$320,000)in winnings from a bookmaker. The odds were at 6,479-1 as it all happened.
Ashley Revell bravely bet everything he owned on just a single spin of a roulette wheel. It was in 2004 when Revell, an English gambler, sold everything he had – even the last of his clothes. In the reality TV series entitled: “Double or Nothing,” Revell had raised US$135,300 for selling his goods. He then went to the Plaza Hotel and Casino and placed the whole amount for just a single bet on the roulette. Revell miraculously won the bet, doubling his money up to US$270,600 and used this to build an online poker company. But owning business must not be his forte, for he had to close down his company in 2012.
Brian Zembic made one of the weirdest bets in history. He once lost a bet to a friend with US$7,000 and lived in his friend’s bathroom for one month. Another daring bet he made was to sleep under a bridge for one week and strapped to his leg is a bundle of money worth US$20,000. But the boldest he has done is when he agreed to have silicone breast implants and live with it for a minimum of one year to win a bet worth US$100,000.
Zembic found a fellow gambler who is also a plastic surgeon and beat him at backgammon to have his surgery done for free. He won his bet for keeping the breast implants for a year. Zembic adapted well with the implants and started to like having them. He then decided to keep the implants for almost twenty years. Zembic even turned down a US$10,000 bet in 2014 to remove his implants. Until he was convinced by his teenage daughter to take his implants out in 2017 and changed his outlook in life that money is not very important at all.
Matthew Webb was the first swimmer to cross the English Channel in the year 1875, with a record of finishing in 21 hours and 40 minutes. He became internationally famous and even wrote a book with the title “The Art of Swimming.”
Webb accepted a bet worth US$2,000 in 1883 to do a dangerous stunt. He needs to swim through the U.S.-Canada border, into the Whirlpool Rapids near Niagara Falls. It is an area of whirlpool rapids, and no one was able to swim through it. Unfortunately, even Webb was not able to do so, losing the bet and even his life in the attempt.
They buried Webb’s body in Oakwood Cemetery in Niagara Falls, New York. His family built a monument for him in England with an engraving: “Nothing great is easy.”
Roger Federer is a professional tennis player who won his first Wimbledon championship in the year 2003. A man named Nick Newlife placed a £1,500 (US$1,900 value) bet in that same year. The bet was Federer will win seven Wimbledon Grand Slam by the year 2019. By 2012, Federer already had seven Wimbledon titles, but sadly, Newlife never knew he won the bet because he died in 2009. He left his betting slip to the charity Oxfam to claim the payout, which is more than £100,000 ($155,000) after Federer won his seventh Wimbledon title.
It all happened in 2009, when Patricia Demauro was with her friend, John Capra, at the Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City. Demauro played penny slot machines but eventually got bored and went to find Capra, who was in the poker room, playing already. Capra was having a bad night with poker, so he decided to show Damauro how to play craps instead. Craps was new to Demauro at that time but decided to give it a try.
Demauro successfully bet 154 consecutive times against rolling seven, which comes out most often in throwing a pair of dice. She was winning significant earnings in each of the 154 non-seven rolls of the dice – one of the weirdest bets to make.
Thomas Cover, a Stanford University statistics professor, said that the odds of Demauro’s winning streak are about one in 56 trillion. Demauro’s luck ended in four-and-a-half hours after she rolled out a seven.
Demauro went home with a sum as high as seven figures, as the casino thanked her by giving her a free meal, a free room, and a champagne toast.
In 1998, Richard Hopkins took his son Evan, who was thirteen then, to race go-karts. He noticed another young driver and admired how that boy was driving. Hopkins placed a bet worth £200 (US$250) that the boy would earn a Formula One Race title when he reaches the age of 23. That boy was Lewis Hamilton.
Hopkins was so confident that he placed a second bet worth £100 bet (US$125), that at the age of 25, Hamilton will be a Formula One world champion. A third bet of £50 (US$62) that Hamilton would accomplish both objectives. Hopkins collected his earnings of more than £165,000 (US$200,000).
A Northern Irish professional golf player, Rory McIlroy won four major titles before turning 25 years old. At a very young age, his father saw a great future for him in playing golf.
Gerry, his father, along with his three friends, each placed a £100 bet (US$125) that Rory would take home the British Open title by 2015. Rory earned the title a year earlier as his dad and friends each collected about £50,000 (US$85,000).
Frankie Dettori was a jockey who rode the winning horses in seven straight races, making him the only jockey to achieve this in September of 1996. A lot of his races managed a decent odds of winning, with a 2-1 to 12-1 range, beating odds of 25,051-1 to win all seven consecutive.
Two lucky punters placed a bet on Dettori with winning all seven races. Each bettor went home with US$630,000. A woman also placed a US$5.25 bet (US$.75 per race), which gave her a total of US$210 winnings. With an accumulator, the woman could have US$18,500 winnings if she combined all her bets. UK bookmakers were the complete opposite when they lost almost US$37 million when they called it Dettori’s “Magnificent Seven.”
An unidentified person placed a £100 (US$125) on an accumulator bet of eight football games. Twenty minutes before the end of the games, all of the teams were losing already. But a complete turn around happened as the teams managed to win. The man collected his winnings of about £650,000 (US$820,000), beating the odds of 6,500-1.
John and Nicole Grant are married couples who made a wager on a Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers game. The couple decided that the loser will receive a shot using a stun-gun.
Nicole’s team – the Packers – lost to the Chicago Bears, making her husband shoot her rear end with a taser. The couple agreed that this was all for fun, and no one will ever get injured. The local police did not agree with them, though, charging John with possession of an electronic weapon.
They would continue betting on a Bears-Packers game the following year. John lost that time, and he only had to wear a Packers jersey as payment.
Another one of the weirdest bets made is the one made by Fred Craggs. Craggs is from Yorkshire, England, who celebrated his 60th birthday by placing a 50p bet (US$.63 centavos) on accumulated results of eight horse races. It was a 2,800,000-1 odds of his winning all eight races.
Miraculously, all horse races won, and Craggs went home with £1 million (US$1.3 million value) as a birthday gift. Two of the eight horses that he chose were named “A Dream Come True” and “Isn’t That Lucky.”