The most amazing stories of gambling hubris of all time, immortalized through their spectacular
failure. From the rich and unemployed betting their inheritance away to famous high-rollers
making unforgettable bets, these moments in gambling history have become immortalized in
4. Crunch Time
A group of young men was challenged by an MTV reality show to meet the mark of “100 things
to do before you die.” One of the big items on the list was to earn a million dollars. There are a
lot of ways to earn $1 million in a lifetime, but the show didn’t last long enough to follow each
of the individuals through earning their doctorate and engineering degrees, so instead they
pooled all their money together and took it to the roulette table. All they needed was three
successful bets on near 50/50 odds, but after just two rounds, every penny was gone.
3. 2 Legit 2 Quit
A frequenter of Las Vegas casinos, a gambler named John Hennigan had a reputation for not
being able to walk away from a bet. His friends gave him a challenge: Stay in a remote area in
Des Moines for six weeks without gambling, and win big. He took the wager of $100,000 and
moved out into the wilderness, but was back in Las Vegas after just two days. Good on him for
not walking away from a challenge, but he could have used a follow-through.
2. What’s in a Name
During a historic horse race in 2011, a talented horse was assigned a mysterious 28/1 payoff. The
horse, named Voler La Vedette, was expected to win and spectators eagerly placed bets on the
horse and its ridiculous odds. Who would have guessed it, Voler La Vedette won. Unsure what
to do, Betfair refused to pay the winnings for the in-game bets, only honoring the bets from
before the race started, but that did not save it. Betfair took the hit, instantly losing £40 million,
or about $61 million.
1. Let it Go, Let it Go
Some players have $100 to set on the table. Archie Karas had $40 million. He lost it all in a
single bet, but even that wasn’t enough for him. Not ready to call it quits, Karas came back to the
baccarat table to lose another $30 million, $300,000 at a time. That’s about 100 bets if he lost
every one of them, but there’s no way someone has that poor of luck, right?
Well, that was embarrassing.
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