The history of betting is a long and important one, as an element of culture that remains popular among prince and pauper alike.
From the lottery to sports and more esoteric one-offs, the scale and scope of these often defy belief.
With winners in some countries not even coming forward to claim their cash, we want to take a look at some of the biggest and strangest wins in gambling history, to see what we might be in for – and to remind you to always double-check that ticket!
Looking at Lotteries
As of 2018, a new Guinness World Record was officially been set for the largest ever payout in online gambling. Reaching a colossal R1.4 billion, this win raised the limit for what is possible in online gambling, as the most recent example of just how far the online lottery game has come.
Claimed by Christina, a home cleaner from Germany, this Lottoland payout came from Eurojackpot, a lottery which operates alongside the other popular options of Megamillions and EuroMillions.
While Christina is playing her cards understandably close to her chest, she has revealed some details of how she claimed her prize.
Playing Eurojackpot, Christina chose five lucky numbers for her bet, 14, 19, 21,30 and 32, with her two additional Euro numbers being 4 and 7.
While it is unknown if she had any methods to choosing these numbers, what is known is that she is now set for life. Now also finding herself in the Guinness Book of World Records, the only thing left to do is start spending.
Single Ticket Lottery Win
The largest-ever lottery win was claimed in South Carolina, USA, on October 23 of 2018. According to CNBC, this winner decided to take the cash-out option, which netted them a total of around R13 billion. Again, wanting to remain anonymous, this Megamillions winner took some time to come forward, leaving spectators guessing as to why they chose to wait.
Popular theories here included that the winner had been on the run from the police, had died on the spot from shock, or had been caught up in litigation over a shared ticket purchase.
The Unusual Bets
While the lottery plays the most visible part of mainstream betting, it is far from the only horse in this race. Other winning bets might not have the payoffs as large as the lottery, but in terms of oddity they can still come out ahead.
Betting on Family
Welsh grandfather Peter Edwards was proud of his grandson’s football skills as a three-year-old. So confident was he in the boy, that Edwards put down the equivalent of R1,200 on the bet that the child would one day play for the Welsh National Football team.
13 years later, in October of 2013, the bet paid off. When 16-year-old Harry Wilson went onto the field, Edwards took home a win of R3 million. Hopefully, young Harry got a decent gift out of the deal.
The Real Bond
Most know Sean Connery as James Bond, with many claiming he stands as the best of all actors to play the part. What most people don’t know is that Connery’s luck in gambling has challenged that of his most famous character.
In 1963, Connery found himself gambling in the Italian Alps. Choosing roulette as his game, he put his money on 17. After losing the first spin, he held strong. Staying on the second spin, he hit 17. Staying on the third spin, he also hit 17. Staying on the fourth and final spin, he hit 17 once again. Having defied the odds enough, he then took his winnings and left.
Departing with the equivalent of R3.15 million, this stands as one of the most impressive feats of luck in casino history.
With all forms of gambling still popular, and more avenues such as online lotteries still opening doors, it’s only a matter of time before we see more and more impressive wins such as these.
Whenever these do occur, however, it’s doubtful that those like Christina or other lottery winners will feel any level of disappointment over being usurped.