There have been many weird and outlandish bets over the years for which bookies have offered odds. And of course there has always been a long line of willing customers who were more than happy to put money of even seemingly impossible outcomes or on bet that would be impossible to claim (fancy a bet on the end of the world, anyone?).
Here we outline some of the more bizarre bets that have been offered by bookmakers (and taken up by punters)… and where better to start than with the end of everything?
1. The End of the World
Despite many predictions having been and gone that the world would end by a certain date, there are still people who believe that they know exactly when the apocalypse will come. Some religious groups claim that their chosen faith gives predictions on future events if you look at the Holy Scriptures closely and apply a certain code/turn the book upside down. There are also people (who some might say are suffering from delusions or mental illness) who claim to be able to see into the future… but weirdly, they haven’t made billions betting on future horse races and football matches!
The bookies must be rubbing their hands together whenever someone takes their self-proclaimed vision of the world’s end so literally that they place a bet that the world will end by year X. The problem for the punter is, of course: how are they intending to get paid out, and what do they intend to do with the winnings even if they could collect?
With odds varying from 250/1 for the world to end in a certain month of a certain year, to odds of 4600/1 (less than the odds given for Leicester to win the Premier League in in 2016!) on apes evolving to the stage where they can overthrow us, you at least have plenty of scope for how you want the end of the world to happen.
2. Elvis is Still Alive
The so-called King of Rock and Roll was found dead in August 1977 in that typical rock and roll fashion: sitting on the toilet! Having lived a life of excess with a diet of fast food, it was really no surprise that he succumbed to a heart attack at only 42 years of age.
However, there are still some people out there who believe that the King is still alive and kicking, believing that he was sick of the limelight and the groupies and so he faked his own death on that fateful night.
Amazingly bookmakers still take bets to this day offering odds of between 1000/1 and 2000/1, depending on the circumstances. One unlucky punter in 2017 even had £300 at 1000/1 on him being found alive within the following year, meaning he would have been paid a whopping £300k if the aliens had decided we could have him back by 2018. That would surely leave the bookies all shook up and as sick as a hound dog!
3. Royal Bets – Will Harry Become a Bus Driver?
From the King of Rock and Roll to the real Royal Family. And no, we’re not talking about the one in the TV show – unfortunately there have been no bets taken on how long Jim would spend on the toilet in a given episode. But there are lots of bets made on members of the actual monarchy and what they will or won’t get up to in a given time.
Obviously the most common bet with the royal family is who will be next to take the throne with odds of 2/7 on Charles or 5/2 on William. And there’s nothing too weird and wonderful about that.
Other bets include Harry and Meghan to announce a pregnancy in 2020, at odds of 4/6, and if they did announce a royal baby you can generally bet on the name with varying odds; betting on the name Archie for Harry and Meghan’s first child would have netted you a tidy sum by the way, given that the odds were around 100/1… not a bad little return if you were able to predict that one.
If you fancy a more outlandish bet on the Royal Family you can bet on Harry’s next proper job now he’s officially quit Royal duties; at odds of 100/1, Harry to be as a bus driver is surely worth a couple of quid? Alternatively, you could bet on the colour of the queen’s hat on her next outing to Royal Ascot.
The markets are certainly there for a flutter on the Royal Family, if you’re even remotely interested of course.
4. Luis Suarez to Bite a Fellow Player
Full time footballer and part time vampire Luis Suarez already had a reputation for sinking his fangs in during games. First off he started by biting Otman Bakkal, the Ajax captain, during a game. Then in 2013 he did it again to Chelsea player Branislav Ivanovic.
So it was therefore no massive surprise that in the lead up to the World Cup in 2014 bookies took a spate of bets on the Uruguayan to bite a player at any time during the course of the tournament at odds of 175/1; also somewhat unsurprising was the fact that Suarez didn’t let his fans down, sinking his teeth into Giorgio Chiellini in a game against Italy, costing bookies a cool £44k! Fangs a lot, Luis.
5. The Search for Alien Life
This is a popular novelty bet among Trekkies and Star Wars fans you would assume; you can place a bet with most bookies on when we will meet Mr Spock or Chewbacca… or rather aliens in general.
One caveat that the bookies have placed into this bet is that the alien life must be intelligent, leaving it open to discretion as to whether they pay out or not. Still, at odds of roughly 20/1 for any given year, it is not a bad bet compared to some in this article.
6. President Obama to be Assasinated
A slightly controversial one here, this bet was offered by bookies – most notably Paddy Power – in 2008 but was soon withdrawn after a slew of complaints. The bet offered odds of 12/1 that then President of the United States Barack Obama would not complete his first term in office… and this included if he was unable to complete the term because he had been assassinated!
Unsurprisingly the bet wasn’t available for very long, and thankfully no one took the bet and then tried to ensure they won.
7. The Name’s Corbyn, Jeremy Corbyn
Who wouldn’t want to be the suave sophisticated superspy James Bond? We’re pretty sure anyone would jump at the chance given the opportunity. Well, in the absence of having a shot at the role yourself, you can at least place a bet on which actor will be next in line to have the licence to kill.
Wildly variable odds are available on this one, with hot favourites James Norton (no, not the chat show host) and Tom Hiddleston currently around 5/1, and Tom Hardy not far behind at 8/1. For those seeking something at slightly longer odds, David Beckham obviously stands an outside chance at 200/1 (maybe Bond would work with an Essex accent?), but then you have the unfavoured Jeremy Corbyn at 500/1, obviously for a reason. Still, he probably stands more of a chance of stopping the Russians in a Bond film than of winning a General Election.
8. The Superbowl Book of Nonsense Bets
Not content with having around three hours’ worth of sport on which to bet when the Super Bowl rolls around (albeit with plenty of ad breaks!), the bookies also take bets on the coin toss (for which they don’t even pay out even money of course), who will make a guest appearance in the half time show, what colour the Gatorade thrown on the winning coach will be, how many tweets Donald Trump will make during the game, and also available for gamblers are markets on how long the national anthem will last.
Imagine an acca on heads, Will Smith at half time, purple Gatorade and a three minute national anthem… this could only happen in America! But if you land all that you could be in for a real celebration.
9. Who Will Survive the Night?
Once available in Taiwan, this series of weird and twisted bets revolves around how long people in hospitals would live for. In order to play the customer in question had to pay a membership fee to the bookies, and then they would get to have a look around the hospital before choosing their “horse” on which to wager the money.
If the patient lived for longer than a month the punter would get paid three times their stake. Amazingly doctors and nurses were also allowed to gamble on this, and used this as a way to make up their earnings; at least you would know you were getting the best possible care if they bet on you.
10. Bizzare North Korea Specials
Obviously we saved the best of the bunch for last, and this set of bets revolves around everyone’s favourite “mind like a sack of cats” dictator, Kim Jong Un.
Let’s face it, this guy can do everything if you listen to his claims. He learned to drive, wrote musical scores to rival Beethoven and painted better than Da Vinci, all by the age of three years old. We would say before he was out of nappies but according to North Korean intelligence, the leaders of the DPRK don’t use the toilet either, so we guess he didn’t need nappies.
Anyway, on to the betting, selected bets you can place about North Korea/Kim Jong Un include North Korea to bid for the Olympic games at a price of 10/1, Kim to build a statue of Donald Trump in Pyongyang at 66/1, and – our personal favourite – Kim Jong Un to challenge Trump to a round of golf to settle their ongoing dispute at odds of 80/1.
Donald had better be careful on that last one, Kim apparently comes from good golfing stock, it was reported that his father once played 18 holes and got 18 holes in one and consequently gave the game up as it was too easy! If Trump and Kim did have a game, which of them would throw the biggest tantrum if they were to lose, we wonder? Could we bet on that too?!