Bet making is an activity that is certain to draw a bit of attention, especially when there are wealthy people making outrageous bets on just about everything. Here are the top ten most memorable bets in history.
Call Me Bond…
The well-known story of Sean Connery winning big at the roulette table is said by some to be a publicity story, told to drum up interest for his roll in Diamonds Are Forever. If the story is true, however, it is one of the most remarkable betting occasions in history. The story goes that Sean Connery walked into a casino in Italy and placed his money on 17. The bet failed, but he bet on 17 again, and again lost. On the third bet, however, 17 came up, making him a winner. He let the money ride twice, and won two more times on the number 17; three times in a row. Those are odds of over 50,000 to 1. Incidentally, 17 also happens to be the number James Bond bets on in Diamonds Are Forever.
The Man With Two Suitcases
Another well-known story is often referred to as the man with two suitcases incident. A man by the name of William Bergstrom is said to have walked into the Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, carrying two suitcases. One was empty, and in the other was $777,000. William put the entire $777,000 on the pass bet of a craps table, and instantly doubled his money. The story goes that he casually put the money into the two suitcases, both now full, and left.
The Suckers Bet
One of the more bizarre bets on this list, a man named David Threlfall negotiated a deal with the William Hill betting institute that a man would walk on the moon within the next seven years. This bet was made in 1967. At the time the idea seemed ridiculous, and Threlfall was given astronomical odds of one thousand to one, with William Hill thinking him a complete nutcase. Threlfall put down $10. The result of the bet is obvious, and William Hill paid out $10,000.
The Value Of Big Breasts
Brian Zembic, after finding himself in a bit of debt, accepted a bet that he would get breast implants and keep them for a year. Bizarrely, not only did he win the bet of $100, 000, he decided to keep the breasts, as he liked them!
Two Day Failure
In some cases, even the bets that are lost can make betting history. A Vegas resident named John Hennigan was bet by his friends he couldn’t live in the Iowa wilderness for six weeks. He accepted the bet, but returned after just two days, gladly coughing up the $100,000 lost bet. Apparently, John said he didn’t realise there was no plumbing in the wilderness.
A well-known story that inspired a song, Charles Deville Wells, in 1891, cheated investors out of 400 Francs and took the money to Monte Carlo. He subsequently won every chip on a roulette table, over a million Francs, and apparently did so without cheating. Later, however, Wells was arrested, revenge from the original investors he had stolen the 400 Francs from. The money was confiscated and the man died penniless. Cheaters never prosper, it seems.
The Story of Patricia Demauro is that she stepped up to the craps table for the second time in her life in 2008, buying into the game for $10. She promptly won 154 rolls in a row, without a single loss. The odds of this are near impossible, and the happy lady, a grandmother, never told a soul how much she had won.
A blackjack player named Don Johnson devised a strategy by which he couldn’t, in the long run, ever lose. The exact formula of this strategy is a bit complicated, and involved him negotiating a few rather generous deals with casino owners. The casino owners thought they were reeling in a sucker, in the end, however, Johnson won over fifteen million dollars from three separate casinos in Vegas, all in a flurry of quick bets. The man is banned from ever playing in a Vegas casino again.
Winning And Losing
Four gentlemen known for their reality television show titled The Buried Life were challenged to try and make a million dollars, as quickly as possible. Their solution was gambling, and after managing to scrape together $100,000 placed a bet on a roulette wheel. They won this bet, making ground on the challenge, but decided to let the money ride. The second bet did not win.
A man named Stu Ungar, renowned for his mathematical mind, was bet that he could not memorise a three decks of cards after seeing them, in order, just once. Astonishingly the bet was won, and Ungar later confessed that it was not even an especially difficult task.