Against All Odds: The Man Who Sold Everything He Owned to Bet It on Red

  • Ashley Revell risked it all on one roulette spin in 2004
  • He sold his home, car, and even his clothes to make the bet
  • Sky One filmed the tense moment for Double or Nothing
Ashley Revell
Ashley Revell (pictured) put everything on the line in 2004, staking his entire life savings on one roulette spin.

Everything on red

The gambling world is full of mysterious, terrifying, and wonderful stories, from bizarre bad beats to hair-raising heists, murders, and even ghosts. Not many tales get riskier than that of Londoner Ashley Revell though, who gambled his entire life on one spin of the roulette wheel 19 years ago.

Revell, who was 32 at the time, sold everything he owned to place the bet in Las Vegas’ Plaza Hotel & Casino. He staked $135,300 on red, doubling his money when the ball ultimately landed on Red 7. The tense moment was filmed by Sky One for a reality show called Double or Nothing:

It was a moment that surprised bystanders and left Revell speechless.

All or nothing

To get the stake for his big wager, Revell sold his home, his car, and even his clothes before traveling to Vegas. He raised funds from garage sales and auctions, and even went as far as to change his name by Deed Poll to ‘Ashley Blue Square Revell’ after receiving additional backing from a UK sportsbook operator.

suddenly I put it all on red”

Revell later confirmed to CNN that he changed his mind about the color before stepping up to the table. “Before I actually walked up to the wheel, I was thinking about putting it on black, and then suddenly the guy was spinning the ball around and all the Sky viewers said… they [had] voted that I should put it on red. So suddenly I put it all on red.”

Understandably, Revell was nervous when stepping up to make the 50/50 bet. “What I was really worried about was that I’d lose and my parents would be upset and my family would, you know, all my friends would be upset,” he said. Those fears weren’t actualized, and the Londoner traveled home with $270,600.

British TV and music producer Simon Cowell was inspired by Revell’s risky antics. He created a new show called Red or Black, in which 1,000 participants fought for the chance to win £1m ($1.3m) by making the 50/50 call.

After the win

Speaking with CNN after the big win in 2004, Revell admitted that it was a crazy bet to make and that he wouldn’t do it again. “I was crazy to do this bet. It was the maddest thing. If I’d lost, I’d have nothing to go back to, nothing to even wear.”

used the cash to start his own poker company

However, after securing one of the largest roulette wins in history, Revell used the cash to start his own poker company, called Poker UTD. The firm ultimately failed to take off. It went out of business in 2012 due to controversy surrounding frozen bank accounts in the US after Black Friday.

He used much of the rest of the cash to fund a bike trip across Europe, an adventure on which he met his future wife.

More recently, Revell set up a URL shorting service in 2022 called

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