When you take a look at the Betway website, you’ll see a long list of events you can bet on with the probability of every outcome you can choose from. There is always a favourite with the odds in its favour and an underdog with chances to be victorious that are… not that bright.
Sometimes, in turn, the odds are truly against something – like Will Smith being the next actor to play James Bond or Wonder Woman 1984 winning the Oscar for the best film. If one of these would happen, it would be the textbook definition of “against all odds”.
There were, in turn, times when these “against all odds” bets paid off – and when they did, they paid off big time. Here are some of the craziest bets ever placed that made their bettors rich.
From karting to the World Championship
When he took his son karting one day, Englishman Richard Hopkins noticed a youngster driving around the racetrack with impressive skill. So impressive that he was willing to bet on his skill – not right there at the racetrack (there’s no word on whether something like this was even possible at the time) but on his future.
Hopkins was so confident in the boy’s skills that he placed three bets on them: he bet $250 at odds of 200 to 1 that he would win his first Formula One race by the time he turns 23, $125 at odds of 500 to 1 that he would win his first Formula One championship title by the age of 25, and $50 at odds of 1500 to 1 on him achieving both of these goals.
The boy – Lewis Hamilton – went on to win his first F1 Grand Prix in 2007, at the age of 22, and his first F1 title in 2008, at the age of 23. And he made Hopkins $200,000 richer in the process.
Out of spite
Back in the early 2010s, there was an English housewife ignored by both her husband and son every weekend – the two, as usual for males in England, were spending all their weekends watching footy on the telly.
Frustrated, she took her son to a betting shop one day, had him read out the upcoming matches, and placed bets randomly on 12 of them – a 12-way accumulator that cost her a grand total of £1.
Imagine her surprise when she found out that all of her bets were correct, making her the big winner of a grand total of more than half a million pounds.
The impossible race day
Finally, let us mention a jockey that completed an almost impossible task, and a punter who trusted his skills and was rewarded.
Lanfranco “Frankie” Dettori has been called one of the best jockeys in history, with more than 3,000 wins in Great Britain on the record. But winning seven races in a single day seems impossible to even for a prolific rider like him. Yet this is exactly what he did on September 28, 1996, making a lucky punter a lot richer in the process.
Gambler Darren Yates was sure he could do it, even when Dettori himself didn’t think he could do it. He bet a combined total of around £70 on his seven races for the day – and at the end of it, he left the racecourse with £550,823 in his pockets. Against all odds, as they say.
By James K. Attaglo Wilson