It’s commonly known that Vegas is the place where one can legally wager on just about anything, provided the books offer the proposition bet(s). Gamblers love to put their money on weird wagers, especially around Super Bowl time. Now that the Supreme Court has overturned the ban on sports betting, we just might see more uncanny bets being offered in states that bid for sports books. Weird wagers are not unique to Vegas. The U.K also gets in on the action.
Here’s a collection of some of the most bizarre, weirdest, wackiest wagers ever made:
1979: The late Jackie Gaughn, owner of the El Cortez hotel in downtown Vegas, posted odds when the faltering U.S. satellite Skylab, was about to crash to earth. The odds were put up on where it would crash: 5/1 for one of the five oceans, 12/1 into the Soviet Union, 100/1 on California soil, 2,000/1 for a hit in tiny Rhode Island, and even 10,000/1 that it would crash into the El Cortez! Turns out it landed in Australia at 30/1.
1980: From the popular TV show Dallas: “Who shot JR?” Wagers were taken at the Castaways Hotel with odds on every cast member prior to the season ending cliff hanger episode, but the Gaming Control Board ordered a halt to all betting because someone had to have a script that knew the answer.
1981: Amidst the ongoing controversy over the murder of President John F. Kennedy, the grave of alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was about to be exhumed to confirm identity. The sports book at the Union Plaza was quick to jump on the proposition bandwagon on whose body would be in the coffin. Odds were posted for: a Soviet agent, Jack Ruby (Oswald’s assassin) or an empty coffin. Due to concerns about the virtue of such a wager, the gaming commission put a lid 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 that Tiger Woods would become President of the US and 5,000/1 that Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky would marry.
A London resident named Matthew Drumbell placed a 1,000,000/1 wager that the world would end before the year 2000. Of course, who would be left to pay him if he survived? No pun intended on the man’s name.
During Super Bowl week in Vegas $ millions are tossed across the betting terminals to wager on one’s favorite team, and some weird bets as well. Here are some of Super Bowls’ past prop bets:
· Will singer Kelly Clarkston omit or mess up one or more words in the National Anthem? How long will it take her to sing it? Over/Under 1 minute, 34 seconds. Will her bare belly be showing when she sings it?
· If Quarterback Tom Brady’s son is shown 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 first touchdown celebration? A ball spike, a dance, lay on the ground, a goalpost dunk, a Tim Tebow kneel, or kiss a cheerleader?
· What color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning team’s head coach? Yellow, orange, clear, red, green, blue? (Yellow was favorite.)
· Who will the Super Bowl MVP thank first in his post-game interview? Teammates, God, Owner, Coach, Family, No one? (Teammates were the favorite.)