Bizarre Betting Markets and Stories
Betting on mainstream sports is still the bread and butter of most bookmakers around the world, but there is a long history of taking wagers on many other things. Today, events in the political arena and the world of entertainment are becoming more and more commonplace. Moreover, there are several obscure sports and novelty bets that you can bet on too. Whether you want to bet on a local sport that not many people have heard of, take the chance on winning big in the event of something very unlikely occurring, or just have some tongue-in-cheek fun, there are all kinds of bets to suit your needs. We’ve brought a few of the strangest examples together for you here, to show you what we mean.
Not only can you bet on baseball, basketball, tennis and other popular sports, as well as more niche markets like snooker and darts, but you can also bet on activities that are very specific to a country. Options include Pesapallo, a bat-and-ball game popular in European countries, and Floorball, a sport that originated in Sweden in the 1960s and has some hockey-like elements. It’s also been popular to bet on Wife-Carrying for years, though this was always done with a cheeky sense of humour. Things have gotten a lot more serious recently, and now there is even a World Wife-Carrying Championship event to put money on. Aside from playing normal Bingo, you can also bet on which tunnel a ferret will choose to go through in Ferret Bingo, and on who will come first in Britain’s annual Bog Snorkelling Races. This always draws some attention at bookmakers and has even been sponsored by major companies like Ben and Jerry’s in the past. There are plenty of other weird and wacky sports to bet on, but let us leave you with one last incredible story of a normal racing bet with an extraordinary outcome. In 2008, during the week when his 60th birthday fell, Fred Craggs put 50p on combined odds of over 2 million to 1, and won an 8-horse accumulator that triggered William Hill’s maximum payout of GBP 1 million. The best part of this story is that his picks were completely random!
One thing we’re learning is that you can literally bet on anything, and that’s actually been true for longer than you might think. Back in the 1960s, people bet on when someone would first walk on the moon and what nationality they would be. Today, you can bet on when alien life will first be discovered, when species will become extinct and when the world will end – though, how one would collect for that poses a bit of a conundrum. The more bizarre an event, the higher the odds – and the greater the unlikely payout, which is why people are still betting on things like Elvis ‘returning’. The most notable example of this might be a 20,000,000/1 bet placed by a Glaswegian woman, that Elvis would crash a UFO into Loch Ness and kill the mythical monster. There are also huge odds on Katie Price becoming the British Prime Minister (20,000/1) and the Queen of England abdicating the throne and replacing Bruce Forsyth as a Strictly Come Dancing professional (50,000/1). It’s all in the name of fun – but can you imagine if these things actually happened? Aside from more ‘normal’ novelty bets, such as when Prince George will first be photographed leaving a nightclub, the sweetest novelty wager we found was that of Chris Booker, who collected his 6/1, GBP 700 bet that his university romance would extend past their years of study and graduation. Here’s hoping they stand the test of time and use those winnings to go on a romantic honeymoon after they get married!