The World’s Weirdest Bets
Slots, Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, Craps – chances are if you’re an online gambling fan, you’ve placed a bet on at least one or more of these in your gaming career. But did you know that there are just as many ways to wager outside of the casino as well? If you’ve got the money, bookies will take bets on just about anything – as you’ll soon find out…
50 words, 50 dollars
Even if you’ve never read Dr Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham, you still know about it, right? However what you may not know is that this wildly famous children’s book came about as the result of a bet, and a $50 one at that. In 1960, Random House founder Bob Cerf bet Theodor “Dr Seuss” Geisel that he couldn’t write a book using just 50 different words. Geisel happily accepted the bet, and Green Eggs and Ham was the eventual outcome. Unfortunately Cerf never followed through and Geisel was never paid his $50 – but with 8 million copies of his book sold to date, we think he did ok out of the deal.
With this ring I thee wager
If you were playing a heated game of Poker and ran out of funds, what would you bet instead of money? Your house? Your car? In 2007, Andrei Karpov from Russia went one step further and bet his actual wife, Tatiana. In a game against Sergey Brodov, Karpov found himself in a desperate situation, and made the (slightly questionable) decision to use his wife as a stake… and ended up losing. After finding out what he had done, Tatiana was understandably furious, and demanded a divorce. And because karma wasn’t done with Karpov yet, Tatiana ended up marrying Brodov – proving that the winner really does take it all.
On your marks, get set, bet
Usually people who make bets about their athletic ability actually have some – however in 18th century England, this wasn’t quite the case. In a wager that looked set to be a losing one right from the start, a butcher named Mr Bullock challenged the Earl of Barrymore to a race, with the ultimate purse being an irresistibly fat one. Just like the butcher himself, which prompted the very fit earl to accept the bet with gusto.
The butcher had just two conditions though – that he be given a 35 metre head start, and that he be allowed to choose the street down which they would run. Figuring that he couldn’t lose, the earl readily accepted. It was here that he made a crucial mistake however, as the cunning butcher chose Black Lion Lane as the course for their footrace – only one of the narrowest streets in the country. As such, when the race began and the butcher set off with his head start, the earl was able to easily catch up to him, but unable to pass due to Bullock taking up the entire street with his bulk. The butcher won, the earl paid him out, and learned a very expensive lesson in the process.
Thanks for the mammaries
What’s the craziest thing you’d ever do to win a bet? Have a think about that while we tell you about Brian Zembic, the man with (wait for it) breast implants. There’s a story for you. A professional gambler, Zembic made his living taking high-stakes bets – which is why when in 1997 he was bet $100 000 that he wouldn’t get breast implants for a year, he readily accepted. After getting 16C implants, Zembic stayed true to his word and kept them for a year… and then another year, and another. 20 years on and Zembic was still happily sporting his breasts, making money from them (reportedly to the collective tune of over $500 000) and even being featured in the book The Man with the $100,000 Breasts. However in 2017, after becoming a father, Zembic appeared on the plastic surgery reality show Botched for a consultation to have them removed. Who knows what his next big bet will be?
Football that’s electrifying
It’s a known fact that sports fans can be crazy loyal about their teams, and just plain crazy crazy when it comes to the supporting them. Case in point – John Grant and his wife Nicole, from Illinois, USA. In 2013 when the Green Bay Packers (Nicole’s team) were set to go up against the Chicago Bears (John’s team) the two made a bet – that the winner would get to shock the loser with a Taser. Sounds nuts right? Even more nuts is the fact that they both agreed to it. The match came and went, the Chicago Bears won the day, and Nicole found herself on the losing end of a shocking bet. Although she thought that John would let it go, hubby had other ideas. So they went outside where John proceeded to Taser his wife not once, but THREE times. Police were called to the scene, but Nicole later chose to drop the charges – we’re not sure if she chose to drop her husband later as well. Don’t play with Tasers kids, it’s just not worth it.
The bare necessities
Ever had one of those dreams where you’re naked in a crowd of people? Doria Tillier from France had that same experience – except it wasn’t a dream. A weather reporter on a French channel, Tillier made a bet that France wouldn’t qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and was so confident in the outcome that she committed to presenting the weather forecast completely naked if she lost. Did France make it into the World Cup? Yes. And did Doria follow through on her promise? Oh yes – streaking across a field while presenting the weather. Ooh la la!
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the ugliest of them all? In the 17th century, the answer to that question was John Heidegger, a Swiss opera manager who was widely considered to be the ugliest person in England. However, a certain Lord Chesterfield believed that he could challenge Heidegger for the title – not personally, but that he could find someone even uglier to beat out Heidegger for the moniker. The bet was accepted, and Chesterfield made good on his promise, finding a woman from the slums who he was certain could beat Heidegger in the ugly stakes. He arranged a meeting between the two for a formal adjudication – however before any judging could begin, Heidegger removed the woman’s hat from her head and placed it on his own. Aghast at seeing her hat being worn by such an ugly person, the woman promptly fainted from shock, leaving Heidegger’s reputation intact – and his wallet a lot fatter. Guess that when being ugly is your only claim to fame, you need to own it!
Game, set and match
Ok, getting tattoos as a bet isn’t really that newsworthy anymore – there are a lot of crazies out there. But we thought this one was worth mentioning anyway just by virtue of its placement. In 2016 Britain’s hopes were set on Andy Murray becoming the first British player to win Wimbledon since 1977 – and so invested in the outcome was Will Hirons, that he committed to getting a very unusual tattoo in a very unusual place if Murray took the title. As we now know, Murray beat Milos Raonic in the final, which resulted in Hirons tattooing the champion’s face on his left butt cheek. Maybe just celebrating with some champagne would have been a better idea?
What’s in a name?
There are some crazy names out there (we’re looking at you Kardashian clan) but none more crazy than that of a New Zealand man who lost a bet in 2014 and had to change his name as a result. Introducing Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Superheroes Combined With Frostnova – pretty much the weirdest name we’ve ever seen, and at 99 characters, just one character short of the legal name limit in New Zealand. That’s the bad news – the good news is that he can change his name back at any time for the princely sum of $127. In fact, five years on and he may very well have reverted back to his birth name… which would be a pity as ‘Mr Frostnova’ has a nice ring to it.
The end of the world as we know it
Remember 2012 – back when we thought the world would come to an end following a prediction from the ancient Mayan calendar? There was even a movie about it starring John Cusack (if you can remember back that far). While no one other than doomsday prophets took that prediction very seriously, in 2000 there was one person who believed in the end of the world – so much so that he took a 1 000 000 to 1 bet that the world would end after the year 2000. Well as you know, Y2K came and went, 2012 came and went, and we’re all still here. Just one question though – if the world had ended after the year 2000, how on earth would he have collected his winnings? Something to think about…
Happy Spinning 🙂