I’ve bet crazy at times, but I wouldn’t consider any of those bets part of the 5 Craziest Gambling Bets Ever Made. Today we take a break from the New England casino expansion to look at some of the craziest bets ever made. I’m not talking about taking insurance on a Blackjack hand, and I mean seemingly insane. I’m sure there are a lot more and a lot crazier!
A Run for his Money
1) Ashton Griffin laid out 3:1 odds on himself to run 70 miles on a treadmill in 24 hours. If he lost, he would have paid out 3x the bet. He pulled this off by some miracle, won $300K, and avoided having to shell out $900K. Furthermore, he finished 70 miles with 45 minutes to spare!
Easy Come, Easy Go – 5 Craziest Gambling Bets Ever Made
2) It’s almost impossible to decide which of legendary gambler Archie Karas’ bets was the craziest. The man came to Vegas with $50 in his wallet. After arriving, he grew that stake to a staggering $17 million over the course of three years. His gamers of choice were pool and poker. Karas’ three-year streak is regarded as the most insane in Las Vegas history. As a result, he was banned from the poker tables at most casinos. Karas settled for taking $100,000 bets on single dice rolls. Just a year after that, he’d lost it all the same way he earned it.
3) Man Who Got Breast Implants on a Bet – This one is part of gambling folklore. Magician and high-stakes gambler Brian Zembic made a bet in 1996. Brian bet he would get breast implants and keep them in for a $100K wager for a year. The craziest part of this story is after the wager was paid. Zembic apparently was so enamored with his “additions” he never removed them. Subsequently, this is definitely one of the Craziest Gambling Bets Ever Made.
He Saw Red – One of the 5 Craziest Gambling Bets Ever Made.
4) Some people come to Vegas for a personal transformation. A change from their old life to be born again in Sin City. In 2004, Ashley Revell sold everything he owned to do that. In this case, he emptied his bank account and put every penny he had—$135,000—on red at the Plaza Hotel in Vegas.
One spin of the roulette wheel later, he doubled his money. As a result of his win, he gave a $600 tip to the dealer and walked out a rich man.
His bet was filmed as a short reality series called Double or Nothing by Britain’s Sky One television and was also featured on E! in the documentary special THS Investigates: Vegas Winners & Losers.
One Man’s Trash……
5) In Vegas, people will bet on just about anything. In short, El Cortez owner Jackie Gaughan decided to start taking “astronomical” bets in 1979. The wager was where space station Skylab’s wreckage would fall to Earth when it re-entered the planet’s atmosphere. Jackie laid odds on everything from New York City to the El Cortez itself (which paid out 10,000 to 1). The final resting place of the downed satellite ended up being Australia.
Making $1 million from $5
6. Harold McDowell, 85, of Lakewood, New Jersey shocked his wife when he won $1 million from $5.00 while gambling at the Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City.
“I happened to be playing next to my wife. I had my back to her.” McDowell told The New York Post. “I turned around and said, “I just won a million dollars.” “She told me, “You’re full of crap.”
It was a Saturday afternoon when McDowell bet the $5 on a 6-Card Bonus on a Three Card Poker game. He was stunned to see a royal straight flush of diamonds when the dealer laid out the cards. This hand was 1 in over 20 million odds.
It was an even sweeter win as far as gambling stories go because his wife was declared cancer-free a day before. She went through several surgeries and treatments for liver cancer, while also dealing with colon cancer for years. “It must be luck of the Irish,” McDowell told The New York Post. “They’re both great news.”
“He bet $5.00 on the Three Card Poker “6 Card Bonus” bet and hit a six-card Royal Straight Flush of Diamonds for a $1,000,000 win. This was the first time this bet hit at Borgata and experts at wizardofodds.com confirm that the odds of hitting the Bonus Royal Flush are 1 in 20,348,320,” the Borgata Casino said in this Facebook post.
7. When FedEx was facing bankruptcy, its founder Frederick W. Smith took the only remaining amount of $5,000 from the company’s account and went to Las Vegas. He came out with $32,000, enough to fuel the planes and keep the company running for a few days while they raised funds.
Smith invested his own $4-million fortune and raised $90 million in capital when he founded FedEx. After three years, the company was facing losses of $1 million per month and bankruptcy. He took what’s left of the company’s funds, went to Las Vegas and played blackjack winning more than six times the amount. With the few days respite the winnings brought the company, they were able to run the business and raise additional funds. By 1976, the company’s first profit was $3.6 million, four years later it was $40 million, and as of 2018, its total assets amount to $52 billion
What are some of your craziest bets?
Binbin and NETimeGambling.com
Robin T. Aubin (AKA Binbin at NETimeGambling) has been a guest on Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast, The Bettor Life Podcast, The Art in the Game Podcast Springfield, Massachusetts. as well as ZorkCast with Michael Trager. In 2013, he created NETimeGambling.com. The mission was to provide a resource for recreational gamblers visiting New England’s expanding casino market events. We offer trip reports, gambling tips, casino promotions, entertainment, and more for those visiting our nine casinos.
NETG also provides general gambling tips for those recreational gamblers inside and outside the northeast.
As a professional musician for over 50 years, Robin has performed at Mohegan Sun’s Wolf Den, Foxwoods’ Atrium Lounge, and Twin River’s Lighthouse Bar & Lounge.
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