Wishing I Was Lucky
Wishing I Was Lucky
MARTI Pellow and Wet Wet Wet sang Wishing I was Lucky in 1987. It was a song about hardship and not having and, well, Wishing he was lucky. What is luck? Is it a state of mind? Is it attraction? or is it simply…luck?
When a gambler feels lucky, they believe they have beaten random chance and somehow, their ability to control has somehow overcome natural chaos. The truth is that while everything happens in the world by cause and effect, it is all so complex that we can only reliably predict so much. However, this does not stop us from trying. We think that if we can tell what is going to happen then we will be able to act in ways to our best advantage. The reality of luck is that it is nothing but an explanation we give to the good and bad things that happen by chance, an attribution that we use to give meaning to random events. Or is it? Is luck an apparition? Is it a sub-conscious awareness of things that will happen and you are placed by some divine being to be the recipient of good fortune? Who knows? However, below are some outrageous and ridiculous lucky bet stories that we have collated for your amusement. Enjoy:
In 1989, a Welshman by the name of David Thomas walked into a local Ladbrokes bookmakers and placed a bet that in the year 2000, U2 would still be a band, Eastenders and Neighbours would still be on the BBC channels and that Cliff Richard would be knighted. He placed a £30 stake and was given odds of 6479/1. His bet came up and Ladbrokes paid David out to the tune of £194,000 and is still one of the biggest novelty bet payouts ever.
In 2014, a Norwegian gambling website offered odds of 175/1 that Uruguayan footballer, Luis Suarez would bite someone during the World Cup. Given that the striker is a dirty cheating bastard and has a penchant for biting opponents, 167 punters took the bait. Suarez took the bite and made some very happy Norwegians. None moreso than Thomas Henning who bet £2000 on this.
Brian Zembic is a high-stakes gambler and magician. He developed a reputation for taking on any bet. In 1996, he agreed to have breast implants and keep them for one year in return for £100k. He grew accustomed to his new friends, and decided to keep them.
In 1980, William Lee Bergstrom arrived at a Las Vegas casino with two suitcases. One contained £777k, the other was empty. He bet the £777k on a single roll of a dice – the largest bet in the history at the time, and he won. A friend, Ted Binion, said Bergstrom had intended to kill himself if he lost – after borrowing most of the money for the bet – but instead ended up travelling the world for several years
A grandfather saw his 18-month-old grandson kicking a football about and decided to put £50 on him one day playing for the Wales national team. Peter Edwards cashed in £125,000 when grandson Harry Wilson eventually became the youngest player to ever play for Wales, aged 16.
Cynthia Jay was working as a waitress at the Monte Carlo Casino in Las Vegas when her life changed forever. In early 2000, Jay was out celebrating her future mother-in-law’s birthday when she decided to try her luck at the Megabucks slot machine. She tried a few times, and on her ninth pull, Jay won a whopping $34,959,458.56, which was a record-breaking sum at that time.
David Threlfall wrote to renowned British wagering company William Hill in 1964, asking for odds that a man would walk on the moon within the following seven years. The odds he received – 1 000/1 These unbelievable odds caused Threlfall to place a £10. Much to his astonishment, the space race progressed in the next few years and success for Threlfall seemed highly likely. Some individuals even offer to buy Threfall’s ticket for a fraction of the payoff, but he refused to sell. When it did eventually happen, and Neil Armstrong planted his foot on the moon, Threlfall received his £10,000 cheque immediately.
Archie Karas is a name known in the gambling industry for doing the impossible – hitting the greatest streak in the history of gambling. In 1992 Karas drove into Las Vegas with just $50 in his pocket and left with a massive $40 million. Karas had experienced a massive loss of $2 million in a Los Angeles high-stakes poker game. He ran into a friend at the Binion’s Horseshoe casino who spotted him $10 000 to play at high-stakes games of Razz. With luck on his side Karas played the game, and just three hours later he managed to pay his casino debt plus 50% interest and had more money to play with. This lucky streak didn’t end there and continued for the next three years where Karas amassed a total of $40 million. Karas’ luck did eventually run out, and he lost all his money playing Craps, Baccarat and Poker. That didn’t stop Karas from taking, even more, chances as he borrowed $40 000 just three weeks later and won $1 million.