the strangest wagers in history

The Strangest Wagers in History. Can You Bet on Anything?

It’s safe to say that just when you think you’ve seen it all, something will inevitably pop up to surprise you. After all, life is known for scripting the strangest scenarios. Hence, it’s no surprise that the betting world has embraced these bizarre occurrences, knowing they’re both popular and profitable. Here’s a rundown of the strangest wagers in the history of gambling. Have you ever placed a wild bet yourself?

Is this the end of the world?

Years ago, the end of the world was one of the hottest topics globally. This doomsday fascination has been around for ages. Take Nostradamus, for example – a prophet and esoteric scholar who also advised Catherine de Medici, Queen of France, and published his visions back in 1555. Yet, it was the end of the Mayan calendar that truly sparked a global fear of an actual apocalypse. The bookmakers, such as Irish giant Paddy Power in 2011, didn’t turn a deaf ear to this and offered odds that the world would end that same year according to the Mayan prophecy. Turns out, the years keep ticking by, and our planet continues to hang in there.

Extraterrestrial Odds – when will the Aliens arrive?

the strangest wagers in history

The apocalyptic vision remains strong for some, so bookmakers have catered to this niche by offering bets on whether life exists on other planets and if it will be discovered before the year’s end. William Hill released odds on which country would be the first attacked by aliens, who would be abducted first (names like Elon Musk, Donald Trump, Tyson Fury, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Jennifer Aniston were floated), and even who would win – humans or aliens. Sometimes, I wonder who won…

Chasing a large wheel of cheese – like every day.

But let’s get back down to earth and see what else global bookmakers have concocted to entertain the masses. What could be more down-to-earth than the Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake? This traditional sporting event held on Spring Bank Holiday near Gloucester, England, involves competitors chasing a large wheel of cheese down a hill – the first to catch it wins a prize. Ladbrokes particularly enjoys these stakes. This bookmaker also offered odds on the existence of Bigfoot. Even those with the largest shoe sizes haven’t yet managed to prove this creature’s existence. Maybe next year!

Will you propose at the Super Bowl? (Please don’t).

From rolling big cheese to playing sports – after all, movement is movement. Americans love their Super Bowl, and that’s probably known by every inhabitant of this planet and a few aliens. Each year, bets are offered on the Weird Vegas Super Bowl. For Super Bowl LVIII, platforms like BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings provide a broad range of betting options, including quirky and unusual bets that enhance the fun of the Super Bowl festivities. This year’s bets included how many times we might see Taylor Swift during the event. With the atmosphere charged with celebrity presence and emotional victories, bets were placed on whether any player would propose to their significant other right on the field after the game. What a cliché!

Are you a fan of McDonald’s? Me too! Too bad we missed the BetOnline wager on whether any of these items would be added to the McDonald’s menu next year – McRib, Mighty Wings, McPizza, or even Fried Apple Pie. My money’s on curly fries!

The Iceberg Lettuce Prime Minister

In 2022, Liz Truss took over the role of UK Prime Minister, succeeding Boris Johnson. To put it mildly, it didn’t go well for her. After a ten-day mourning period following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Truss caused economic and political turmoil just seven days into her tenure. The public compared this time to the “shelf life of lettuce.” She was further nicknamed the “Iceberg Lady,” in contrast to the “Iron Lady,” the nickname of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

The “Liz Truss lettuce bets” originated from a satirical challenge posed by the British newspaper Daily Star. They set up a live stream featuring a head of iceberg lettuce, humorously questioning whether Liz Truss’s political career as Prime Minister would last longer than the shelf life of the lettuce. As the days passed, the bet gained traction among the public and betting markets, with people wagering on the outcome of this unusual comparison. Ladbrokes rated Truss’s chances of outlasting the lettuce as low. Indeed, Liz Truss resigned from her position faster than the lettuce wilted. In the end, bookmaker Paddy Power offered odds of 500-to-1 that the lettuce would become the next prime minister. Madness!

There are some ethical boundaries, right?

However, not all weird and special bets are fun. Sometimes they can cause more controversy than entertainment. Here are a few contentious categories of bets.

Death and life – some companies, like Paddy Power, offered bets on who would die in the upcoming year. These bets were controversial and often met with criticism.

Court outcomes – online bookmakers sometimes offered bets on the outcomes of high-profile trials. This met criticism as it could be seen as inappropriate speculation on serious, often tragic events. Let’s leave it to Judge Judy to decide. Or other TV mockumentary judges – they know their job.

Terrorist events – bets on potential acts of terrorism were also controversial, viewed as highly unethical and inappropriate. Such bets are generally condemned and banned in many countries due to their sensitive and harmful nature.

Do celebrities deserve privacy? Or not?

celebrity life betting

Beyond such blatantly unethical uses of betting, there’s another example that could be up for public debate. People love fame, follow it, or keep tabs on celebrities just to feel a bit closer to the glitter and confetti falling from the sky. But where do we draw the ethical line for bets? There’s nothing controversial about betting on Nobel Prize winners in various categories or Oscar results, including unusual categories like the longest acceptance speech. At Unibet and Bet365, you can bet on winners in various categories of this type.

But is it okay to bet on facts from celebrities’ lives or the globally famous Royal Family? Markets cover the name of a potential royal baby, deaths and other things concerning current situations (like when Duchess Kate will appear at an official event after announcing that she has cancer). Public figures today don’t have it easy in this regard. Almost anyone can learn everything about them. But who would want their personal matters to be the subject of bets? There must be a line drawn somewhere.

Hey Siri, what’s the weather like tomorrow?

It would be most convenient if we chose bets related to the weather. Nobody particularly suffers, everyone has an opinion, and the resolution of the bet will be fairly quick. For instance, one of the more popular unusual bets involves whether it will snow on Christmas in a specific city. In the UK, bookmakers like Ladbrokes and William Hill regularly offer such bets.

Bet that life will surprise you. And you probably won’t win anything (again).

As you can see, you can quite literally bet on anything. As I mentioned, life writes the strangest scenarios! It was easier to predict who would die next in the TV show “Game of Thrones” than to guess what unusual bet bookmakers will come up with next. Just keep a keen eye on reality. Shall we bet on that?