Gamblers and the Crazy Things They Bet On

min read
A man with a crazy expression holds four aces.
BetMGM Jul 26, 2022, 10:54 AM

Everybody loves a good wager, and as far back as you can imagine, people have placed bets on something or other. When someone mentions gambling or betting, most think of sports betting, online slots, live dealer casino games, or generally online casino games. These are conventional things to bet on, but the truth is you can bet on absolutely anything you like! From UFOs to wife carrying that’s a thing in Ireland anything your mind can conjure up is bet-worthy. 

We’ve done some research and want to share with you some of the more bizarre wagers that have taken place throughout history, and while we’re at it, we’ll tell you a bit about the history of gambling and why people love it. Get comfortable because some of these bets are downright crazy and may have you belly-laughing.

Where it all began

Gambling and humanity go together like peanut butter and jelly. People have gathered to socialize for as long as society has been around. At some point during the gathering, a discussion will occur, and someone will place a wager on the likelihood of something happening. This age-old form of entertainment dates back to the Palaeolithic period, would you believe. Evidence of dice-like objects was found as far back as 40 000BC, but let’s not get too bogged down with the ancients.  

The point here is that gambling has been around forever. People gambled with sticks, stones, bones and gold nuggets; they bet on the date of the next meteor shower, the chance of a mammoth killing with one stab, or whether Napoleon would win the battle. The dice, chips and wagers may have changed, but the game is still the same; only now, gamblers have access to top online casinos where they can play slots online or casino table games.

Why do we love it?

People love to take chances; it’s human nature. They believe in luck and the power of the supernatural to shift chance in their favor. We ‘hold thumbs’ or ‘keep fingers crossed’ for luck (even if it doesn’t actually make a difference to the outcome.) We love competition and exhilaration, the thrill of the unknown, but most of all, we love to win. Gambling involves all of these factors, on top of which it is entertaining! 

Let’s look at some of the more unusual things people have gambled on in history and how these strange and interesting gambling moments came about.

I bet you’d never have guessed!

Bog Snorkeling

This rather bizarre form of snorkeling is held annually in the United Kingdom, and this year’s World Bog Snorkeling Championships will be held at the end of August in Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales. It started in the 1970s, and just 10 years later, the world saw the first championship come together. Who would have thought there would be a World Bog Snorkeling Championship!

The participants snorkel two laps of the sixty-yard course using only a snorkel and flippers and are not allowed to cover this stretch using conventional swimming strokes. Go figure all bets are on! Lonely Planet lists this event as one of the top 50 things you should put on your bucket list. 

Loved by participants and spectators alike, this unusual event brings all the gamblers to the bog, as it were.

You may know how to play casino slots, but do you know how to bet on bog snorkeling?

ET phone home

Do UFOs exist? We’ve seen the photos of alleged unidentified flying objects in the media for years. Ancient literature is filled with descriptions and drawings of disc-like objects which these civilizations claim to have seen. Films and series about the supernatural and alien invasions fill our Netflix screens, and who can forget the iconic cute alien ET. We willed the escape of our very own extra-terrestrial mascot, so he could go home!

What is the likelihood of aliens landing on earth, you might ask? Well, many people don’t just ask—they bet on it! Are we alone, or is there alien life out there? Bookmakers are having a ball setting up bets to these questions, so when next you are at an online casino, think about how much you’d bet on ET returning.

The end of the world

We’ll keep this one brief so as not to fill you with doom and gloom but be honest, you’ve thought about it! 

Our concern is for the person who wins this wager. What will they do with the money if there is no more – world! No casino table games or live dealer games to play. We think we’d rather bet on the following bizarre thing on our list.

Naked weather report

We’re not referring to a public indecency case here; we’re talking about the 27-year-old French weather reporter who did not have faith in her national football team. She took a wager that she would present the weather forecast in her birthday suit should she lose the bet. Oh, ye of little faith Doria Tillier, get your gear off and get reporting!

France qualified for the 2014 World Cup Finals, and Tillier kept her promise, much to the surprise of her viewers.

You light up my life

Some couples may play casino games to entertain themselves, but then others choose, yes, this was by choice, to taser one another in a wager.

John and Nicola Grant from Illinois, USA, were a gambling-loving couple and particularly loved betting on sports. Unfortunately, and as is often the case, they supported different teams. John supported the Chicago Bears, and Nicola was a Greenbay Packers fan. In 2013, their teams were in the playoffs together, and they decided to take a bet on who would win. So far, it all sounds relatively civilized. The bizarre thing was that the wager involved the loser being tasered by the winner. We’ve heard about people offering up their spouse as a prize, which is crazy enough, but this is quite a unique way to test your marriage vows. 

Needless to say, someone had to lose, and it was Nicola. John tasered her – three times (they had agreed to one.) We can only imagine that Nicola was not impressed because she called the police to press charges against her husband. Fortunately for John, she later dropped these, but we can only assume payback came at some point.

Entertainment at its best

Who said gambling was boring! From cheese-rolling to ferret bingo, wife-carrying to changing your name if you lose the bet, people have thought about it, bet on it, and someone has won. 

Gambling is entertaining, exhilarating, interesting and sometimes rather strange, but we love it. To learn more about how to play casino slots, log onto our online casino and register to play casino games.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.