Las Vegas is commonly known to be the place where one can legally bet on just about anything, as long as the books offer the betting proposition(s). Players love to bet their money on odd bets, especially around Super Bowl time. Now that the Supreme Court has struck down the sports betting ban, we may see more oddball bets being offered in states that bet on sportsbooks. Weird bets aren’t unique to Las Vegas. The United Kingdom also gets in on the action.
Here is a collection of some of the weirdest, weirdest and most outrageous bets ever made:
1979: The late Jackie Gaughn, owner of the El Cortez hotel in downtown Las Vegas, published odds when the faltering American satellite sky Lab, He was about to crash to the ground. The odds were put on where it would crash: 5/1 for one of the five oceans, 12/1 in the Soviet Union, 100/1 on California soil, 2000/1 for a hit on tiny Rhode Island, and even 10,000. /1 that would crash into El Cortez! Turns out he landed in Australia on 1/30.
1980: From the popular TV show Dallas: “Who shot JR?” Bets were taken at the Castaways Hotel with odds on each cast member before the end of the season, but the Gaming Board of Control ordered all betting to stop because someone had to have a script that knew the answer.
1981: Amid the ongoing controversy over the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the grave of suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was about to be exhumed to confirm his identity. The sportsbook in Union Plaza quickly jumped on the proposal bandwagon about whose body would be in the casket. Odds were posted for: a Soviet agent, Jack Ruby (Oswald’s killer), or an empty coffin. Due to concerns about the virtue of such a bet, the gaming commission put a cap on it. Turns out it was Oswald after all.
In the UK, it was 500/1 that the FBI will confirm that Elvis is still alive and another 500/1 that Michael and LaToya Jackson are one in the same.
UK bookmakers also offered 1,000/1 for Tiger Woods to become US President and 5,000/1 for Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky to marry.
A London resident named Matthew Drumbell made a 1,000,000/1 bet that the world would end before the year 2000. Of course, who would be left to pay him if he survived? No pun on the man’s name.
During Super Bowl week in Las Vegas, millions of dollars are thrown through betting terminals to bet on one’s favorite team, and some odd bets as well. Here are some of the past Super Bowl prop bets:
· Will singer Kelly Clarkston omit or spoil one or more words in the National Anthem? How long will it take to sing it? Over/Under 1 minute, 34 seconds. Will your bare belly show when you sing it?
If quarterback Tom Brady’s son appears on TV during the game, will he be wearing a Tom Brady jersey?
How many times will Patriots owner Robert Kraft be shown on TV during the game?
What will be the celebration of the first touchdown? A ball spike, a dance, a floor slam, a goalpost dunk, a Tim Tebow kneel, or a cheerleader kiss?
· What color of Gatorade will be thrown on the head coach of the winning team? Yellow, orange, transparent, red, green, blue? (Yellow was the favourite).
Who will the Super Bowl MVP thank first in his post-game interview? Teammates, God, Owner, Coach, Family, Nobody? (The teammates were the favourites.)
There you have it. I wonder what strange bets await us for the next Super Bowl. Guess we’ll have to wait to find out.