Since sports betting beginnings in ancient Greece with its gladiator tournaments, there have been multiple cases of unconventional, risky, or simply weird bets. It seems that, for humanity, traditional betting is not enough. To find other forms of entertainment, some people have devised bets that have made their way into history by being some of the strangest. From placing your wife as a stake, through all-inning all of your savings, to $5000 saving one of the most prominent transportation companies, you could call the people behind them crazy.

Placing wife as a bet

Gambling addiction is hell. Still, does the desire to keep going justify wagering your wife? That’s what a Russian poker player named Andrei Karpov has done. Instead of going in with his car or jewellery, he instead decided to play for his better half. Initially, she went with the proposition, to the surprise of her husband. His opponent, Sergei Brodov, has, in fact, won the game and, by the rules, got to keep the wife. 

As soon as she found out about Karpov’s plot, the beautiful Tatiana had divorced Andrei and soon started a relationship with Sergei. Tatiana, and rightfully so, considered Andrei’s behaviour as incredibly disrespectful, and she felt ashamed for him, which made her leave him. To tell the truth, she would have divorced Andrei anyway — she knew that as soon as he made that proposition.

Brian Zembic’s craziness

Zembic’s history of “unconventional,” to say the least, bets, started off with a $7,000 bet for living in a friend’s bathroom for a month. Later on, he agreed to stay under a bridge for a week with $20,000 taped to his leg. If he managed, he got to keep the money. Still, Zembic’s character is best known for his $100,000 bet where he agreed to undergo plastic surgery to put in silicone implants as his breasts and live like that for a year.

Being an avid backgammon player, he found a surgeon who was also keen on gambling and won the surgery for free. Still, Zembic liked the new addition so much that he decided to keep them for twenty years. He even got offered another bet of $10,000 to take them out, but he disagreed. Finally, after constant requests from his daughter, he accepted a removal surgery.

Federer, the Wimbledon champion

Nick Newlife, a tennis fan, had decided to place a bet on Roger Federer after he won Wimbledon. Still, the odd thing about this one is the fact that the bet’s winning conditions was Federer winning Wimbledon 7 times until 2019. The odds were excellent — 66-1, and Nick had the chance to win $155,000 by placing $1,900. Needless to say, Federer had completed the challenge by 2012, making Nick the winner. Unfortunately, he died in 2009 and in his will, he dedicated the possible future winnings to a charity called Oxfam.

Lucky number seven

It is often said that beginners have the best luck. This was the case of a woman, Patricia Demauro, who decided to visit Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. After she got tired of playing penny slots, she went to the craps table and bet against seven. And then again. And again. And again, until she noted a 154-game winning streak. The odds of that happening, as calculated by a Stanford University professor, Thomas Cover, were at 1 to 56 trillion. That’s 56 and 12 zeroes. Her profits, at the end of the streak, were well into tens of millions of dollars. See, seven is the most likely to be rolled on the dice. It took over four hours for her to finally end her streak.

All in

Ashley Revell, an avid gambler, sold everything he owned, making $135,300 and went on a trip to Vegas to place a bet in the Plaza Hotel and Casino. Ashley chose roulette, one of the most iconic casino games. Revell was pretty indecisive, but after some time, he switched from black to red. After a few dozen of anxiety and tension-filled seconds, the ball stopped at 7, which meant Revell won. He invested all of that money, $270,600, to open his own online casino (online kaszinó) with poker, but he wasn’t very successful, having closed down in 2021.

Niagara tragedy

In 1875, Matthew Webb, famous for being the first man to swim across the English Channel, took an unusual bet that soon resulted in him losing all he had. In 1883, he agreed to take $2,000 if he managed to swim through the Whirlpool Rapids near Niagara Falls. Unfortunately, Webb overestimated his skills, as staying afloat in the uneasy waters had proven to be too much for him. The body of water he tried to swim through was yet to be conquered. Being a man of high ambitions, he put everything at stake and lost his life in the process.

Dr. Seuss

Theodor Geisel, later known as Dr. Seuss, took a bet where he was supposed to write a children’s book with a unique word limit of 50. While the stakes weren’t great as his prize would only be $5, he would get his book to be published if he managed. Having his first text rejected 27 times, he took the challenge. Soon enough, a book named “Green Eggs and Ham” (1960) was published as a result of Dr. Seuss winning the bet. He got the recognition he deserved and sold a record number of copies.