Time to Place Your Bets

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It’s commonly known that Vegas is the place where one can legally wager on just about anything, provided the books offer the proposal bet(s). Gamblers love to put their money on bizarre wagers, particularly around Super Bowl time. Now that the Supreme Court has overturned the ban on sports betting, we just might see more uncanny bets being offered in states that bid for sports books. Weird wagers aren’t unique to Vegas.

Here’s a collection of some of the most bizarre, weirdest, wackiest wagers ever produced:

1979: The late Jackie Gaughn, owner of the El Cortez hotel in downtown Vegas, posted odds when the faltering U.S. satellite Skylab, was about to crash to earth. The chances were set up on where it would crash: 5/1 for one of the five oceans, 12/1 to the Soviet Union, 100/1 on California soil, 2,000/1 to get a hit in tiny Rhode Island, and even 10,000/1 that it would crash into the El Cortez! Turns out it landed in Australia in 30/1.
1980: From the popular TV show Dallas: “Who shot JR?” Wagers were taken at the Castaways Hotel with odds on every cast member before the season ending cliff hanger episode, but the Gaming Control Board ordered a stop to all gambling because someone had to have a script that understood the answer.
1981: Amidst the continuing controversy over the murder of President John F. Kennedy, the grave of alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was going to be exhumed to confirm identity. The sports book in the Union Plaza was quick to leap on the proposition bandwagon on whose body will be in the coffin. Odds were posted for: a Soviet agent, Jack Ruby (Oswald’s assassin) or an empty coffin. Because of concerns about the virtue of such a bet, the gambling commission put a lid on it. Turns out it was Oswald after all.
In the UK, it was 500/1 that the FBI will affirm that Elvis is still alive and yet another 500/1 that Michael and LaToya Jackson are one in the same.
UK bookmakers also offered 1,000/1 that Tiger Woods would become President of the US and 5,000/1 that Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky would marry.
A London resident named Matthew Drumbell placed a 1,000,000/1 wager that the world would end before the year 2000. Of course, who would be left to cover him if he survived? No pun intended on the man’s name.
During Super Bowl week in Vegas $ millions are tossed across the betting terminals to wager on one’s favorite group, and some weird bets also. Here are some of Super Bowls’ past prop bets:
· Will singer Kelly Clarkston omit or mess up one or more words in the National Anthem? How long will it take her to sing it? Over/Under 1 minute, 34 seconds. Will her bare belly be showing when she sings it?

· If Quarterback Tom Brady’s son is shown on TV during the game, will he be wearing a Tom Brady Jersey?

· How many times will Patriots owner Robert Kraft be shown on TV during the game?

· What will be the first touchdown celebration? A ball spike, a dancing, lay on the floor, a goalpost dip, a Tim Tebow kneel, or kiss a cheerleader?

· What colour Gatorade will be dumped on the winning team’s head coach? Orange, orange, clear, red, green, blue? (Yellow was favored.)

· Who will the Super Bowl MVP thank in his post-game interview? Teammates, God, Owner, Coach, Family, No one? (Teammates were the favorite.)

So, there you have it. I wonder what weird wagers await us for next Super Bowl? I guess we’ll only have to wait to find out.

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