Sports fans can be a little crazy at times. Some like to dress up in outlandish costumes to support their team, while others prefer to instigate parking lot brawls with supporters from a rival franchise. While these fall into the "not normal" category, both seem tame when compared to some of the unusual sports bets that have been made over the years.
Take a look at our list and see if any of these sound familiar. Then again, if you're nutty enough to engage in some of these examples, you may have wagered away your PC long ago.
In a town in Uganda, two soccer fans decided to demonstrate their team loyalty in a rather extreme wager. Rashid Yiga bet his wife and his Toyota on Manchester United, while Henry Dhabasani (who already had three wives) risked his house on an Arsenal win. Manchester won 1-0, and Dhabasani was kicked out of his home the following day.
Most of us who've played golf have wagered on the outcome of various holes, but professional poker player Phil Ivey has taken it to a whole new level.
The most famous example came when he was golfing against Joe Cassidy. Ivey was already up over $10,000, but he decided to cut his buddy a break on an 80-yard shot. He managed to get 200:1 odds on a $1,000 bet and then promptly put the ball right into the hole. Just like that, he was $200,000 richer (although it took the unlucky Cassidy a couple of years to scare up enough cash to pay off the bet).
In case you don't know, a superfecta is a horseracing wager that requires you to pick the top four finishers in a race (in exact order). It's an incredibly unlikely wager, but it does offer a massive payout.
Case in point: a pair of off-site bettors each bet ten cents on a 2008 race at Saratoga Springs, New York. When they hit, each walked away with $76,000 in profits. Not too shabby for a ten cent investment.
Uruguayan soccer player Luis Suarez has a history of biting opponents, from a 2010 nibble on the shoulder of Otman Bakkal to some 2013 gnawing on the arm of Branislov Ivanovic. His behavior became infamous enough that oddsmakers had to get in on the action during the World Cup. Sure enough, the famished forward couldn't control himself during a match against Italy, sinking his teeth into the shoulder of Giorgio Chiellini. In true wimpy soccer fashion, Suarez then fell to the ground holding his mouth and acting as though he was the true victim of the attack.
Imagine for a moment that you wagered $500,000 on the Giants to win the NFC Championship. If you managed to win, what would you do? Well, if you're rapper 50 Cent you'd turn around and bet $1 million for the G-Men to capture the Lombardi Trophy. While he managed to win both wagers, one has to wonder if this kind of spending is what led to his filing for bankruptcy in 2015.
NFL running back Knowshon Moreno has been known to get all misty eyed during the singing of the National Anthem, and oddsmakers couldn't resist turning it into a wager during the Super Bowl match-up between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. "No" was the favorite at -250, while "yes" was listed at +170. Anyone who loves to see a grown man cry would've been disappointed, as the tailback managed to keep his composure. Maybe he had money riding on the results, or perhaps he was just tired of being known as the guy who routinely bursts into tears.
I recently read about a British genius who agreed to get a rather lengthy phrase tattooed onto his member if Liverpool won the Premier League. The wager was made with his fiancée and future father-in-law, which says something about the family he's going to be marrying into. At least he's endowed enough to hold all the words, which I guess should be some consolation while needles are puncturing his flesh.
While we're talking about tattoos, let's not forget the wager made by British tennis fan Will Hirons. He agreed to get a tattoo of Andy Murray on his butt if the Scotsman managed to win the men's singles title at Wimbledon. Even though a British citizen hadn't accomplished the feat in over 70 years, Murray got the win and Hirons got some new ink.
There are numerous examples of this type of wager. It usually works like this: you agree to get the rival's logo inked onto your body if they manage to defeat your favorite squad. While it sounds like a perfect way to display team loyalty, it's not so enjoyable once the tattoo needle starts buzzing and you realize that you'll have to wear around enemy colors for the rest of your life.
Sports bettors often have nerves of steel, but an Arizona Cardinals fan raised the bar back in 2011. The Cards were five games back from a playoff spot with only 15 games left to play in the MLB season. The punter risked $250 at 500 to 1 odds that the Cardinals would squeak into the post-season. He also bet another $250 that the team would win the World Series, and this time he got 999 to 1 odds. The lucky bettor won both, picking up $375,000 for his troubles.
The dour coach of the New England Patriots is known for wearing hoodies, hoodies, and more hoodies. When it came time for his squad to compete in Super Bowl XLIX, a number of leading sportsbooks couldn't resist the temptation to turn his fashion sense (or lack thereof) into a prop bet. The color of his hoodie was one option, with grey being the favorite at -200. Another was the type of hoodie, with options including sleeves cut and sleeves intact.
French weather forecaster Doris Tiller wanted her national soccer team to qualify for the World Cup. She wanted it so bad, in fact, that she promised to do her forecast naked if they could pull off the feat. Her countrymen came through by beating Ukraine, and Doris (a former model) kept her word by stripping naked on live television... and she didn't even get fired. Excuse me while I pack my bags for France.
The only known winner of this sort of crazy sports bet is Gerry McIlroy, the father of professional golfer Rory McIlroy. The elder member of the McIlroy household placed the $341 wager at 500 to 1 odds when his son was just 15, and the terms of the bet gave his offspring 10 years to win the event. Rory won just in the nick of time, and his proud father collected $171,000 from a sportsbook.
Singer Idina Menzel is best-known for voicing Elsa in Frozen and having John Travolta butcher her name at the Oscars. When she was asked to sing the National Anthem at Super Bowl XLIX, one major sportsbook took bets on whether the American-born singer would alter or forget any of the words. She pulled off the performance like a champ, delivering a solid (if somewhat unusual) arrangement of the patriotic tune. I guess the crowds never bothered her anyway.
Also known as a "parlay," an accumulator bet is a single wager that's linked together with a number of other bets. If you win the first bet, the money is then placed on the next wager in the chain. In order to collect a payday, however, each of your selections must be victorious. In 2001, a British roofer defied the odds by betting less than 50 cents (no, not the rapper) on a 15-game soccer accumulator. Despite the long odds of 1,666,666 to 1, he managed to take home about $784,000.
So how many of these 15 unusual sports bets have you made? I honestly hope the number is low, otherwise you may currently be homeless or confined to a psychiatric facility.
I like to wager on sporting events as much as the next guy, but I'm also a believer in setting reasonable limits for such activities. Losing a couple of dollars on a baseball game never hurt anyone, but the same can't be said when you wind up in the street because the Steelers completed a last-minute Hail Mary.