It is quite clear that if you bet on a very rare probability, you will probably lose, but not always. You never know when your luck will come and you will win a million dollars. This has already happened with people, but not all bets are just about money. People bet like crazy on bets that had devastating consequences, huge embarrassments, bankruptcies, etc. Incorporating cases like this and more, here is our list of 10 of the craziest bets of all time.
1- Overconfident Russian pilot Alexander Klyuyev bet his co-pilot, Gennady Zhirnov, in 1986 that he could land the plane blindly, without looking at the ground. He covered all the cockpit windows and ignored all alarms and warnings. The plane turned upside down and crashed. 70 of the 94 people were killed, but the pilot survived.
On October 20, 1986, the Russian Aeroflot Flight 6502 landed at Grozny Airport. The pilot, Alexander Klyuyev, made a fatal bet with the first officer that he could land the plane without any visible contact with the ground.
So when the flight was only two minutes away from landing, he ordered the flight engineer to close all the blinds over the cockpit windows bragging that he would only use the instrument method to land the plane.
Alarms went off, the air traffic controller suggested switching method of landing, ATC suggested precautions be taken, and a 200-foot warning sounded. Alexander ignored every little bit of the signal of destruction and disagreed with it.
The plane went completely unstable, came to the ground at great speed, and literally flipped upside down after overrunning the runway and bursting into flames killing 70 passengers.
The pilot did not die and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but was released after six years. The co-pilot, Gennady, did his best to save people but was seriously injured and died of a heart attack on the way to the hospital.
2- Pete Conrad, Apollo 12 commander, made a bet of $500 with Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, who claimed that the statements of the astronauts during the moon landing were written by NASA. Just to prove Oriana wrong, Pete says “Whoopi!” As his first word after setting foot on the moon.
Pitt was already troubled by the general public opinion that astronauts are required to only speak certain things during missions. One such controversial speech was by Neil Armstrong when he said, “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.”
People thought it was very strange for an astronaut to use such poetic words, but Pete knew it was his own. During an argument in an interview with an Italian journalist, Pete thought the best way to get out of this was to bet $500 that he would make up his word when he landed.
A few months later, Apollo 12 was launched, led by Konrad. The flight had to face a temporary power outage due to a series of lightning strikes.
Five days later, the spacecraft reached the moon, and when Pete got off the lunar module ladder, the first thing he said was, “Whoopi! Man, that was small for Neil, but that’s long for me.”
He definitely won the challenge, but unfortunately for Pete, Oriana didn’t pay him $500.
3- Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, and Tony Fernandez, owner of Air Asia, bet on the winner of the 2010 Formula 1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi. The loser had to dress up and serve as a flight attendant on the winner’s airline. Branson lost the bet and actually got the job done.
Mr. Branson mentioned that he and Tony had a Grand Prix team. At the 2010 Finals in Abu Dhabi, Tony bet that his team would finish against Branson’s team.
They also decided that the loser would dress up and act as a hostess. Branson was very confident and also excited to win the bet and see Tony in a Virgin Atlantic stewardess outfit, but the race turned out to be very unfortunate for him.
Branson took the humiliation and dressed as a flight attendant flying to Malaysia from Australia with lipstick and a red skirt. Richard also shaved his legs but not his beard and wore tights throughout his stint.
Instead, Richard approached his task with a rather funny spirit. He intentionally spilled a tray of drinks on Tony. In the end, both of them and on the flight seem to be having a good time.
The incident attracted public attention and raised more than $300,000 for the charity, which is supported by both Virgin Australia and AirAsia and is run by the Starlight Foundation.
4- In 1956, just for the sake of a bet at a bar, a pilot named Thomas Fitzpatrick stole a plane from the New Jersey Flight School and landed it in front of the New York City bar where he had been drinking earlier and made the bet. Two years later, he stole another plane from the same place and landed it in Amsterdam because another bar patron couldn’t believe his first story was true.
On the night of January 30, 1956, Thomas was drunk in a New York City bar when he bet he could travel from New Jersey to New York in just 15 minutes. He actually did it by stealing a plane from the Teterboro School of Aeronautics in New Jersey at 3 am.
He boarded the flight with no light or radio and landed directly in front of the New York Tavern on St. Nicholas Street near 191st Street where he had been drinking. He was fined $100 for his illegal act.
This was not enough for Thomas. Two years later, the same scene was repeated on October 4th.
Again drunk, he stole a plane from the same place but landed on 187th Street in front of the Amsterdam Yeshiva University building when another bar patron questioned the authenticity of Thomas’ earlier feat. Thomas was sentenced to six months in prison by Judge John Mullen for the entire incident.
5- Professional golfer Rory McIlroy was just 15 years old in 2004 when his father bet £200 ($341) that Rory would win the British Open sometime in the next ten years. His odds were only 500-1 but Rory won the tournament in 2014 making his father $171,000 richer.
Gerry McIlroy made a bet with bookmaker Ladbrokes Plc who stated that the odds of winning such a bet are as low as 500-1.
The stakes may have seemed to put pressure on 25-year-old Rory, but as he mentioned, “betting wasn’t an ordinary topic of conversation at the dinner table,” but he knew it well.
Rory’s father was invested in his victory from an early stage, but never reminded Rory of it much, even though Rory was a prodigy himself and everyone believed in him.
Unfortunately for Ladbrokes, they didn’t expect it. For the company, such a loss is extremely rare, but they paid Rory’s father $171,000 for it.
6- Gionee is a huge Chinese mobile phone company. The chairman, Liu Lirong, used to gamble because of the company’s bankruptcy in 2018. The chairman lost $144 million in a casino, which required the company to be liquidated.
Gionee is a smartphone manufacturer based in Guangdong, China. It was established in 2002 and has been one of the largest mobile phone manufacturing giants in China.
The company went bankrupt in November 2018 when its boss lost a huge amount of money at a casino in Saipan. Reports initially stated that he lost around $1.4 billion but later admitted it was $144 million.
As a result, the company failed to pay its suppliers and required them to work on deals. Even twenty suppliers have filed for bankruptcy reorganization with the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court.
Surprisingly, the chairman said he did not use Gionee’s money to gamble but also admitted that he may have borrowed the company’s money.
7- In 2010, a 22-year-old New Zealand man lost a bet that required him to change his name to “Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock and all superheroes combined with Frostnova.” He learned that his request to change the name was accepted five years later after receiving the letter of confirmation.
After losing a bet, the New Zealander changed his name to “Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent than Spock and all superheroes combined with Frostnova.”
The name is 99 characters long, so it technically fits within the 100-character limit imposed by New Zealand’s Department of Home Affairs.
Mr Frostnova applied to change his name again in March 2010 by paying the required fee, but only learned his application had been accepted five years later when his passport expired and he received the letter of confirmation.
However, Frostnova is allowed to change his name back to his original name or something else by completing the form with a $127 fee. It will only take eight days to complete the whole process.
8- An anonymous Welshman from Newport bet £30 on a series of cultural events in 1989. His assurance was that when the new century began, U2 would still be together, Cliff Richard would be knighted, the Eastenders would still be on TV, and the two TV shows called Neighbors would still be and Home and Away are shown on British screens. The combined odds for such a bet were given 6479-1 and in January 2000 it raised £194,400.
The 40-year-old Welshman bet on these cultural conditions on December 30, 1989 with local bookies in Newport, South Wales. He has bet on five events that will take place at the beginning of the 21st century and the total odds of winning are 6,479-1.
His 5 points to be right as of 2000 were Cliff Richard being knighted (4-1), rock band U2 to go on in concert (3-1), and Eastender on TV (5). 1), Neighbors should remain on British TV (5-1) and Home Away on British TV (8-1).
The events happen to be true, and on the second day of the new millennium he claims the lottery of £194,400. It took the bookies two days to confirm the issue but he paid the amount without any complaints.
The amount of money paid out is recorded as the largest new bet in the history of the betting industry.
9- Brian Zembeck was known for his insane bets, but in 1996 he pushed the boundaries when he agreed to have prosthetic breast implants for a year for $100,000. He got so used to the breasts that he was reluctant to have them removed even after the year had passed. He stated in 2014 that he was only considering having those breasts removed 20 years later when he was 55 and had a teenage daughter.
Zembek was a professional gambler and magician. He was known for making some outrageous bets like living in a friend’s bathroom for a month, sleeping under a bridge for a week, etc. But the breast challenge was the craziest.
It started in the summer of 1996 when he was having a conversation in a restaurant with his two friends and his girlfriend. Meanwhile, Zembek stated that if he had breasts like his girlfriend’s, he would definitely get as much attention as she does.
Then a friend asked him how much he was willing to pay for a year’s worth of silicone breast implants, and they eventually settled on $100,000.
The transplant took a lot of money, but he was able to get it for free from his surgeon and a New York gambler friend.
Zembic’s initial intentions were to get breasts only in order to win a bet and take the money, but he quickly becomes smitten with her. His friend offered him $50,000 to cancel the bet, but he refused. One year later, he won the bet and also got his money back, but he refused to take it out. He said that the breasts did not affect his life much.
He had no problem meeting new people, his family was nice to her, and he was making a career out of them since he appeared in documentaries, reality shows, movies, etc.
Finally, 20 years later in 2014, he stated that he was considering removing it.
10- The Duke of Portland and the Earl of Chesterfield bet in 1749 to test the credibility of the gullibility of the London public. They advertise a stage show where a man squeezes himself into a bottle of wine to check whether or not people would pay for such a prank. People did, but the scene turned into a riot within the hour when no performers showed up.
The “Great Bottle Hoax” was the result of a bet made between the Duke of Portland and the Earl of Chesterfield when they were discussing the gullibility of the audience.
The Duke suggested that if he announced an impossible performance of a man jumping into a bottle of wine and urging people to pay and turn up, he would win. Before the betting earl.
The advertisement was published in the London papers in the first week of January stating that a man would carry out the impossible task of jumping a bottle of wine at the New Theater in the Haymarket. The ad also claimed that he would play the music of each instrument and sing while in the bottle.
Each seat cost five pounds, and every seat in the theater was sold out, so that the standing room was packed with crowds. The audience kept quiet for one hour even when no actors or any performance appeared.
Finally, the people began to grumble a little, and someone threw a lit candle onto the stage throwing the stage audience into wild chaos. The mad crowd tore up the benches and benches, set everything on fire and stole the receipt for the box.
London’s most notorious prankster and stage owner is suspected of pranking but proven innocent. Only years passed when the young Duke and Earl’s secret was leaked.