The top 10 best bets ever

Top 10 bets of all time

Would you bet your life on the spin of a wheel? What about have breast implants for cash…if you were a man? These two crazy wagers, and, would you believe eight others, make our top 10 bets of all time.

1) The breast bet ever – We don’t normally like to put our top 10 lists in any particular order on the basis that if you make it in the 10, you’ve done enough. But for Brian Zembic, we’ll make an exception. The Canadian is a pro gambler who specialises in poker, blackjack and backgammon but also has plastic surgery for cash occasionally.

In 1996 he agreed to have 38C breast implants, and keep them for a year, in exchange for $100,000 after arguing that the procedure was no big deal. His friend, a fellow gambler named Jobo stumped up the cash and 16 years on Zembic still has the most lucrative moobs in the world. He says girls get off on them. $100k and lots of kinky sex – not a bad result.

'Dollars' photo (c) 2011, 401(K) 2012 - license: Soaps and music – How about turning £30 into nearly £200,000? That’s what a lucky Welsh punter did after betting in 1989 that by 2000 Cliff Richards would be knighted, U2 would still be together, Eastenders would still be on the BBC, Neighbours would still be on British TV and Home and Away would still be broadcast. Random but profitable.

Reports he bought lots of sheep and lives in a house made of leeks are entirely made up by us.

3) Maths, golf and a hole lot of cash – In 1991 two Essex boys calculated the odds of a hole in one at the British Open as being round about evens. Asking around at various bookies throughout the country they got odds of up to 100/1 and obviously piled in with everything they could possibly lay their hands on.

Depending who you believe they won between £500,000 and £1m. Nice.

4) Amarillo Slim – simply the best proposition bettor ever Slim, who sadly died in 2012, could occupy all 10 spots on this list with his crazy bets. From sprinting against horses to playing table tennis with Coke bottles, from riding a camel through a casino to taking cash from Evel Knievel by betting on birthdays, Slim was a legend.

Read his brilliant book, Amarillo Slim in a world full of fat people for the full lowdown!

5) Your life on the spin of a wheel – Ashley Revell was maybe a little bit bored, or perhaps just fed up with the daily grind. Most people might have got drunk but he decided to sell his house, car, clothes, every single possession he had, including his name, head to Vegas and stick it on red.

Luckily for him, red 7 came in and he was $135,300 richer! Win or not, his father still wasn’t impressed, saying, “He shouldn’t have done it. He’s a naughty boy.”

6) That’s a lotto money! – You might not call it gambling, you might be right. You might not call it a bet, you’re probably more right. But the world’s lotteries have provided some jumbo-sized payouts and the biggest came back in July 2011. Tubby Scots Chris and Colin Weir won a £161m on the Euromillions, by my reckoning the highest payout for a single ticket ever. Almost enough to buy five Andy Carrolls!


7) The Grand National millionaire – The Grand National is a great race but considered by many to be one for the mugs and romantics only, given the unpredictability of the outcome over the treacherous fences. Not so for Mike Futter, who backed his own horse, Monty’s Pass, in 2003.

He and his team placed a series of each way bets, at odds of up to 66/1, that ultimately led to a seven figure success. The secret to this bet was a finely kept one – the horse was around a stone better going left-handed.

'Moon Dreams' photo (c) 2006, Steve Jurvetson - license: Will man walk on the moon? You bet! – In 1964 a wee scamp by the name of David Threlfall bet £10 at 1000/1 that man would walk on the moon before 1970. Just five years later he was in the money.

If you fancy something similar Paddy Power are the guys to visit as they usually offer bets on Moon and Mars landings and the existence of aliens in their novelty bets section.

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9) Lightening strikes twice for Elmer – The biggest progressive jackpot in the world of slot machines is the Megabucks Jackpot in Vegas, which starts at $7m. Starts there and goes up. And up.

The chances of winning once are around 1 in 50m and Elmer Sherwin has somehow managed to win it twice! He won over $4m in 1989 and then, at the age of 92 scooped the jackpot again, this time for a whopping $21m in 2005.

10) Archie Karas turns $50 into $40,000,000
Archie Karas was born into poverty in Greece but from a young age had a fearless approach that made him a dangerous gambler. He would gamble on marbles at first before moving to America and graduating to pool and cards. He quickly established a bankroll of $2m but lost it almost as quickly. With just $50 to his name he turned up in Vegas and The Run began.

His attitude to money was that it didn’t matter and this made him unreadable, unplayable and, with a little luck, unstoppable. His fortune grew and grew and playing dice he got up to $40m. In just over two years! Find out more about this legend HERE! Alternatively find out how Archie lost it all again in our top 10 worst bets ever article.

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