Wins in casinos come in all shapes and sizes, and, occasionally, they are simply too amazing to ignore. In part one, we took a look at a few unbelievable gambling success stories, but those were just the tip of the iceberg. This time, we’re going to examine the best of the best, the whackiest of the whacky and the biggest of the big. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the craziest wins in the history of the gambling industry.
It was the year 1964, when the well-respected British wagering company William Hill allowed a quiet, but very decisive man, to bet on something truly out of this world: His name was David Threlfall, and he was for sure the man with the plan, received 1,000:1 odds that a man would walk on the Moon within seven years. The adventurous gamer promptly placed a £10 bet and waited (let’s all stop an think on how much were £10 worth back then…ok? Let’s continue).
As the space race heated up, the man’s bet looked more favorable. When Neil Armstrong took his now infamous step on the celestial body, Threlfall was watching live in a television studio, and he promptly received his £10,000 winnings.
This is why you should always aim high, even moon high.
Ping Pong Hustling
Thomas “Amarillo Slim” Preston never saw a bet he wouldn’t take, at least not a bet with an edge. Enter Bobby Riggs, the 1939 Wimbledon tennis champion known for his “Battle of the Sexes” matches in the 1970s. Now, you may think that tennis skill would translate to table tennis pretty well, but Amarillo Slim had other thoughts.
He bet Riggs $10,000 that he could take him down at the ping pong table, but there was a single caveat: Slim would choose the paddles. After Riggs agreed, Amarillo Slim revealed his choice of paddles: iron skillets. Slim had been practicing with these heavy paddles in preparation of the eventual bet.
Believe it or not, his effort of randomness paid off and Slims won the bet of 21-8, securing a five-figure prize.
Breaking the Bank
At casinos, the act of breaking the bank refers to laying claim to every chip on the table, hard to master, but there are proves that it has happened in more than occasion.
In 1891, Charles Deville Wells, through an evening of unbelievable luck, accomplished this feat at the Monte Carlo casino. During an 11 hour roulette marathon, the man turned a £400 investment (which he acquired through a less-than-honorable confidence scheme) into a million francs, which would amount to about $500,000 today.
Eventually, however, his luck ran out. Not only did he give back all of the winnings at the Monte Carlo, he was also arrested in England and served eight years for fraud. Karma always catches up sooner or later.
High Stakes Razz
Archie Karas rolled into Las Vegas in 1992 with a mere $50 in his pocket. After spotting a friend, he secured a $10,000 loan that cleared the way for an unbelievable winning streak. At Binion’s Horseshoe casino, he played high stakes Razz, an unusual poker variant in which the lowest hand is deemed the winner.
He started playing and within three short hours, he had repaid the loan (with 50 percent interest) and had enough to keep playing. The hot streak didn’t end there, however. By the time his luck went cold three years later, he had amassed $40 million at a collection of games. Eventually, he followed the fate of fellow gamblers by losing all of his winnings.
If there’s a lesson to be learned from these crazy wins, it probably has something to do with restraint. When you find yourself on an unbelievable hot streak, remember the fate of these lucky gamblers, and make sure to leave with a piece of that supercharged bankroll!