CRAZY BETS! CRAZY BETS! Matt Broughton reveals some of the weirdest bets the world has ever seen. B

rian Zembic, the American who famously had breast implants to win a $100,000 bet, has continued to win a series of weird wagers with his buddies, including running through the streets of Philadelphia in bra and panties for $3,000. “Someone else bet me $14,000 I couldn’t live in a bathroom for a month,’” says Zembic. “The guy I bet had all his buddies use the place, and it was horrible. After six days they gave me $7,000 to stop the bet. No one thought I’d last that long.”

US president Calvin Coolidge was famously a man of few words. At one official dinner, a guest made a bet with a fellow diner that she could get him to say more than two words. When she told the president of her wager, he replied, ‘You lose.’

confirming the generous odds when he picked up a newspaper and saw the man’s face on the back. It was Michael Knighton, who had just bid £20m to take over Manchester United. Sharpe binned the letter, and a few days later, a sheepish Knighton rang him to confess his plan. After buying the club, he intended to get Alex Ferguson to bring him on as a last-minute substitute, thus winning Knighton a six-figure sum from William Hill.

With England leading Austria 2-0 in their  in Vienna in 2004, one football fan contacted his bookies with a bet

that England would go on to win the match. At odds of 1/100, his £45,000 bet would only have netted him £450, but he didn’t even get that. The moment he rang off the phone, Austria pulled a goal back before error-prone keeper David ‘Calamity’ James dropped a clanger resulting in the Austrian equaliser. The match ended 2-2 and the hapless punter lost his shirt

Budgerigar fanciers flocked to the bookies back in 1980s when 100/1 odds were offered on breeders coming up with a pink specimen – something that had never been achieved. Breeders produced birds fed on shrimps that had turned temporarily pink and

even birds covered in brick dust, but no one managed to produce a truly pink budgie.

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In his book, Gambling’s Strangest Moments, William Hill betting expert Graham Sharpe recalls the time back in 1989 when an overweight 38-year-old arrived in his office, wanting to place a big-money bet on himself one day playing top-division football. After thinking the matter over, Sharpe agreed, and was just about to post a letter to the man

Jacqueline Boanson was described in court as the ‘happiest victim of theft ever’ when in August 2002, smalltime crook Andrew Cameron was found guilty of stealing her debit card. Cameron used it to place two £50 bets, resulting in winnings of £291 being placed in Jacqueline’s account. She was allowed to keep the money and the hapless thief was put on probation for 12 months.

A contender for the title of unluckiest punter in the world must be Jack Lee, who in 2004, picked out six winners in races across the UK. As they romped past the winning post, Jack had won £857,714, plus an additional £100,000 from a side bet he had placed at the same time. Sadly for Jack, one of his winners was later disqualified by stewards and placed second, reducing his winnings to a measly £90.

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