I’ve bet crazy at times, but I wouldn’t consider any of those bets part of the 7 Craziest Gambling Bets Ever Made. Today we take a break from New England Casinos to look at some of the craziest bets ever made. I’m not talking about taking insurance on a Blackjack hand; I mean seemingly insane. I’m sure there are a lot more than 7!
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, winning $300K, and avoided having to shell out $900K. Furthermore, he finished 70 miles with 45 minutes to spare! I wonder if he went shopping in those 45 minutes?
Easy Come, Easy Go – 7 Craziest Gambling Bets Ever Made
2) It’s almost impossible to decide which of legendary gambler Archie Karas’ bets was the craziest. The story goes that he arrived in Vegas with $50 in his wallet. Shortly after, he grew that stake to a staggering $17 million over the course of three years. His games 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 seen after he was paid the winning wager. 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 7 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. It 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 1979 El Cortez owner Jackie Gaughan decided to start taking literally “astronomical” bets.
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.
McDowell reported, “I happened to be playing next to my wife. I had my back to her. 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 side bet 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 said. “They’re both great news.”
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,” according to the Borgata Casino.
He Almost Shipped His Pants…
7) FedEx founder Frederick W. Smith invested his own $4-million fortune and raised $90 million in capital to start FedEx. After three years, the company was facing losses of $1 million per month and bankruptcy. He took the only remaining amount of $5,000 from its account and went to Las Vegas. In Las Vegas, he played blackjack, winning more than six times the amount. He came out with $32,000, enough to fuel the planes and keep the company running for a few days while they raised funds.
With the few day’s respites 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.
Now, that’s a good ending to the 7 Craziest Gambling Bets Ever Made.
What are some of your craziest bets? Let us know. Leave a comment. I just hope your examples don’t include additional body parts!
Binbin and NETimeGambling.com
Robin T. Aubin (AKA Binbin at NETimeGambling) has been a guest on Cousin VitVito’ssino 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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