Weird and wonderful
As the old gambling industry saying goes:
if you can think of it then you can bet on it.”
Gambling is as old as time itself, and hopeful bettors have placed wagers on some bizarre events over the years with varied results. For instance, there’s the story of the English swimmer who lost both his money and his life betting he could cross Niagara Falls, or the man who accepted a $100,000 bet to get breast implants for an entire year.
While these wagers might be a little too crazy for the tastes of most gamblers, what if you fancy a punt on something a little different from your usual sport or casino offerings?
VegasSlotsOnline News has scoured sportsbooks to create a list of five of the weirdest things that you can currently place your money on. There are plenty of strange betting options to choose from if you know where to look, from contact with aliens to celebrity deaths and even cheese rolling.
The end of the world
If you think it seems a little pointless to bet on the end of the world, then you are absolutely right. It’s uncertain how any gambler could truly enjoy the spoils of their wager when they’ve been wiped out along with the rest of the planet. Regardless, for those bettors who just love to throw cash straight in the garbage, betting on the end of the world is certainly an option.
a $100 bet could earn a “lucky” bettor a $50,000 payout
In 2018, Irish sportsbook operator Paddy Power offered odds of +50000 that the world would end before the following year. The promotion came at a time when then US President Donald Trump was locking horns with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un. With both hot heads rattling their nuclear sabres, Paddy Power confirmed that a $100 bet could earn a “lucky” bettor a $50,000 payout.
Of course, as you probably know, the end of the world did not arrive in 2019. For now, Paddy Power has retracted its apocalypse betting market. Perhaps the odds have become too short with Russian president Vladimir Putin’s finger hovering over the nuclear button and global warming reaching boiling point.
For hopeful bettors, operator 888 has created some odds regarding different ways the world could end, however. The firm has zombie plague at odds of +100000, while aliens taking over the earth is priced at +50000. Plants becoming sentient is another option at +60000, and an ape uprising is a longshot at a staggering +460000.
Continuing the morbid trend, bettors that like wagers with a darker twist can place their money on the death of the rich and famous. Of course, you won’t find these options on the traditional sportsbook sites, but celebrity death pool betting is a common occurrence popular in countries across the globe.
Most sites, such as Doug Stanhope’s Celebrity Death Pool (DSCDP), do not include a real-money wagering option, but gamblers tend to bet privately between themselves in their own leagues. Users earn points through a scoring system beginning with 100 points per celebrity. When one of your chosen celebrities dies, their age is deducted from the 100 points.
The DSCDP Twitter page recently confirmed the number of accounts that picked Meatloaf prior to his death in January this year:
You will also receive bonuses for guessing the correct method of death, from car crash to heart attack. The most obvious guesses don’t earn as many points as celebrities that die out of the blue with little to no warning. There’s also an ailment of the month. If your celebrity dies of said illness then you get an additional 25 points.
Morbid curiosity is a powerful thing.”
Speaking with Yahoo Finance in 2016, DSCDP’s semi-anonymous founder Jobi addressed criticism of his website, which is endorsed by comedian Doug Stanhope. “Sure, some people can see it as morbid and disrespectful,” he said. “However, I’ve seen friends that find it morbid at the beginning and then totally warm up to the idea and play. Morbid curiosity is a powerful thing.”
Bettors that fancy something a little alternative but don’t feel comfortable earning money from the misfortune of others can try cheese rolling. The competition has taken place in Gloucestershire in the UK for almost 200 years. It’s an annual event that sees contestants chase a Double Gloucester cheese down an incredibly steep 200-yard long hill.
The first to make it down wins, but each race often racks up a high number of injuries. The highest injury toll to date came in 1997 when a total of 33 competitors had to receive treatment for everything from splinters to broken bones. You can see why in this video shared by ABC News in 2018:
Although the betting options are limited on the event, local sportsbook operators do allow residents to place a wager on who they think might take home the cheese that year. Other more global operators, such as Betsson, have offered wagers on the event before if gamblers call up to request.
The next edition of the event is due to take place on June 5 2022, so gamblers will have to get their bets in soon.
Contact with aliens
With more and more billionaires plowing their money into expensive space programs, the talk around alien life has heated up over recent years. That’s not to mention the release of UFO reports from the US intelligence community detailing mysterious flying objects flying through restricted military airspace over the last several decades.
Last year, the New York Post even cited an ex-Israeli space head who claimed that aliens are currently hiding on planet earth waiting for humanity to accept them. “The aliens have asked not to announce that they are here [because] humanity is not ready yet,” he claimed.
If this evidence is proof enough for you, then you can put your money where your mouth is. Most mainstream sportsbooks are not accepting wagers on the possibility of extraterrestrials, but some alternative ones such as Boveda do offer the market. The sportsbook is offering odds of +1400 that humans confirm alien life exists before the end of the year.
Yes, it looks as ridiculous as it sounds. Wife carrying is a sport in which a man must carry a female partner on his shoulders through a 253-meter obstacle course. The woman is usually placed backward with her feet hanging in the man’s face, impeding him as he attempts to climb over hay bails and traverse ditches filled with water.
80 competitors armed with only a helmet and belt
Of course, wife carrying isn’t the most mainstream sport in the world. It’s most popular in Ireland and Scandinavia, the latter of which has hosted the Wife Carrying World Championships in Finland since 1992. Last year, the competition attracted 80 competitors armed with only a helmet and belt to help them through the extremely difficult course.
The bizarre sport has even made the leap across the pond, with the North American Wife Carrying Championships now hosted each year in Maine:
Sportsbooks such as Paddy Power routinely accept bets on wife-carrying competitions. In fact, the bookmaker even used to host its own tournament in Kerry, Ireland. Meanwhile, other sportsbooks have been known to accept requested bets on wife-carrying competitions across the globe, especially the prestigious Wife Carrying World Championships.