"Trust me, some of the things we have been asked to quote on, but refused, defy belief." - Kevin Egan, Paddy Power.
Novelty bets are particularly popular when placing multiple bets and accumulators. A crazy better that correctly predicts a sequence of results can generate incredible payouts.
Legends of Crazy Betting
English bookmakers William Hill are renowned for taking bets on anything, however crazy. Spokesman Graham Sharpe was a pioneer in the field when 22 years ago he infamously took bets on "Who Shot JR Ewing". His willingness to take on any wager is legendary and has spawned an industry of novelty bets.
The Newport Novelty Bet
In 1989 a man from Newport placed a £30 accumulator bet. The wager included odds of 4 to 1 that Cliff Richard would be knighted, 3 to 1 that U2 would not split up, and 5 to 1 that Eastenders would remain part of the BBC schedule until the millennium. Eleven years later the forgotten Welshman entered the same bookmakers with a moth eaten betting slip to claim his winnings at odds of 6,479 to 1. A shocked Ladbrokes paid out £194,400.
Proud father Eddie Kirkland bet £100 that his son Chris would play for England football team when he grew up. Despite odds of 100 to 1 the young protegy went on to play for Liverpool FC and in 2006 finally played for England against Greece, netting his father £9,000 in the process. "A tenner was a lot of money when I made the bet because I was seriously ill with cancer and wasn't working. But I believed he could do it."
In 2007 cancer patient Jon Matthews was told he had less than a year to live. Matthew's placed a 50 to 1 bet at William Hill that he would remain alive eight months. On 1st June 2008 Matthews became the patient to survive longest after being diagnosed with the terminal disease mesothelioma. "I get bad days obviously but I'm feeling fine today. Everyone's feeling fine if they're going to pick up five grand."
Mick Gibbs - 1,666,666 to one
In August 2000 Mick Gibbs placed a 30 pence accumulator bet predicting the outcome of 15 sporting events. The combined odds of this wager were 1,666,666 to one. The final event was the 2001 Champions League soccer final. Gibbs said he could not when Oliver Kahn saved a Valencia penalty kick to give the Germans the cup and Mr Gibbs a record payout of £500,000. "I was pacing and praying, I was shaking like a leaf."
Crazy Bet Tactics
Be imaginative and do your research!
It's a crazy bet, what tips can there possibly be?! Yet it is always worth considering the position of the bookmaker before betting.
Kevin Egan of Paddy Power stated that "Our general rule going into this is that we’re doing it for the publicity, but there’s also a serious business side to it because people obviously want to play. By their very nature, novelty bets tend to be prone to insider knowledge and we have to be aware that someone will always know more than we do, so if we can get out breaking even, we’re quite happy.
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