Most are aware that bet making has been a part of human society almost since humanity itself began. In fact, evidence suggests that out ancient ancestors were using dice made of bone even before cities themselves were conceived. So humans have almost always been making bets in some form or another. The interesting this is, however, that society did not always play by the same rules as we did today.
As far as making bets on unknown outcomes goes, today people would be most likely to place bets on sports games, or horse races, which makes a great deal of sense, given how closely regulated these events are. But, back in the day people were willing to make bets on just about anything, as long as the result of the event was unknown. And, given the creativity levels of human, you can believe that bets were placed on some pretty outrageous, and sometimes hilarious, things. Let’s take a look at some strange things bet on throughout history.
Walk Around The Globe
One of the most notoriously outrageous bets comes from the early 1900s, and is so silly that many simply struggle to accept that such an insane bet ever existed. But, it just so happens that it did, and is proof that humans will get up to pretty crazy things when they have time on their hands.
The Earl of Lonsdale accepted a bet that he could not travel across the entire globe, on foot, without being recognised once. The wager was instigated by his friend John Pierpoint Morgan, who kept adding rules to the bet as it progressed, perhaps fearing that The Earl was making too much progress.
By the time the bet had to be abandoned, due to the start of World War One, rules added to the bet were that The Earl had to wear a metal helmet for the rest of the journey, find a wife along the way, sell postcards to strangers, and was only allowed a single change of trousers. About as silly a bet as a person could dream of. It’s good to know, however, that half the bet amount was paid given, the progress made up until that time.
A Million For A Ghost
One of the most controversial bets of all time, famous sceptic James Randi put down a $1 million bet that no one could ever prove the existence of paranormal anomalies of any kind. And if they could, he would hand over the money without question. The only condition was that the demonstration be done in controlled conditions.
There was outrage from the psychic community globally, saying that Randi was simply setting people up to be tricked, humiliated, and embarrassed. Randi shot back that he was doing no such thing, and insisted that he wanted someone to claim the money. The fact remains, however, that the bet has been open since the 1970s, and not a single person has claimed the money. As to whether this proves that paranormal anomalies do not exist is up for debate, but it is far easier to win big playing slots than prove that there is alien life…
Money For Impressive Assets
Another notoriously controversial bet, this one involves a man making an easy $100,000, simply for getting a pair of prime breast implants. Living in Toronto, Brian Zembic is well known for making outrageous bets with wealthy friends, many of which are enough to raise an eyebrow. His most famous is getting paid $100,000 for getting breast implants, which he was required to keep for a year. He took, and won, the outrageous bet, and dropped jaws when he even decided to keep the implants after the bet was done. Why, you might ask? Because he found that they drew such attention that he could make even more money, simply from people paying to see them.
Moe recently he took another bet that he couldn’t live in a restroom for an entire month, without ever leaving it. He won this bet as well, earning another $15,000. Who it is that is paying for these outlandish bets is anyone’s guess, but one can’t help but think Brain has some very strange friends.
Easy Entrance Denied
World famous basketball player Shaquille O’Neal is known for many things, and taking crazy bets is among them. He accepted a bet that he would be allowed access to the White House, without giving any warning, and simply asking to be let in. Confident that his fame would prevail, Shaq jumped into a cab and took a ride straight there.
Sadly he was not allowed access due to White House regulations and rules. Red-faced Shaq had to drop to the ground and do 1,000 push-ups, his debt for being denied access. If the incident taught anyone anything its that just because you’re famous, you aren’t allowed access to high security government buildings without asking for permission first.