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The World’s most Famous Bets of all Time

The World’s most Famous Bets of all Time image

The World’s most Famous Bets of all Time

The inability of many people to resist the mortal words “I bet you…” has resulted in some infamous bets. Here is our pick of the best, worst and most life changing: 

Cleopatra and Marc Anthony

The first bet that has made it to the list is because of the beauty of its simplicity.  As the legend goes Cleopatra bet Marc Antony that she would be able to “consume the wealth of an entire nation in one meal”. Upon Marc accepting the bet Cleopatra promptly popped a pearl into her drink and drank it.

Dynamo and Charitable Giving

A bet made by the magician Dynamo makes it onto our list for being so spectacular.  The magician, somewhat magically, correctly predicted live on television Spain’s course in the Euro 2012 tournament right from the quarter finals to the winner’s podium. The Teenage Cancer Trust benefited from the magicians £10,000 winnings.

Beating the Odds and Making History

Before the advent of online gambling, there were bricks and mortar bookmakers. This bet has made it onto our list because of the odds stacked against the better. In 1989, a man placed a £30 bet with Ladbrokes with 6,479/1 accumulative odds.  The bet was that U2 would stay together, that singer Cliff Richard would be Knighted, EastEnders would remain as a weekly soap on BBC and that Australian soaps Home & Away and Neighbours would still showing on British television by the year 2000.  Eleven years later he collected winnings of £194,400, not a bad return on a £30 bet.

Archie Karas and the Big Pay-off

This bet, or rather series of bets, makes it on to our list due to the sheer heroism of the gamer.  In fact it is so legendary that it is popularly known as the Run. In 1990 Archie Karas, a waiter from Greece, went to Las Vegas with only $50 in his pocket and a $10,000 loan from a friend to play a high stakes poker game in Las Vegas Binion’s Horseshoe Casino.  He beat fifteen professional poker players in a head to head competition after which he played the craps table for six months before returning home with $17 million.

The Biggest Loser

Conversely, businessman Terrance Watanabe’s betting spree in 2007 makes it on to the list for the dire consequences it resulted in.  He went to Las Vegas a multi-millionaire ($127 million to be precise) and, after hitting the casinos on the strip returned home a year later having lost the fortune he had spent two decades accruing.