Sports betting is an activity that is continuously swelling in popularity, seeing monthly revenue spikes in the US of over 100% year-on-year. One of the primary reasons this is so is because it offers better winning odds than most casino games, allowing gamblers to put their sporting knowledge to use en route to attaining sizeable profits. That said, like with every gambling activity, a varying degree of risk is always in play when one makes a sports wager. Nothing is 100% certain in this life, and bad choices made with bookies or other bettors can have dire financial consequences.
In the subheadings that follow, we break down five ill-advisable sports wagers that disgraced the gamblers that made them. Sports betting is an activity that often gets guided by emotion. The thrill of going against long odds and the anticipation of snagging a massive win or beating a competitor can blind people into making foolhardy moves. Here are five such examples presented below.
5. Michael Jordan Loses Over a Million on Golf
According to many, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever. His skills on the court are the stuff of legend, but so are his gambling habits. In a 1993 interview with Ahmad Rashad, His Airness stated that he does not have a gambling compulsion, emphasizing that he has a competition problem. Rumor has it that Jordan once lost as much as $5 million at a Vegas craps table, and he has incurred losses of millions at blackjack ones on other occasions.
Now, while his basketball days are behind him, and he never quite made it in his first love, baseball, Jordan is no slouch on the golf course, boasting a handicap of 1.2. Nevertheless, his skills on grass turfs were less polished in the early 1990s. It was then that Michael bet another problem gambler, businessman Richard Esquinas, over a ten-day golf binge, eventually racking up a loos tally of $1.2 billion. Esquinas, in his tell-all book – Michael & Me: Our Gambling Addiction, details the incident and claims that Jordan has yet to pay him the entire sum.
4. British Roofer Interrupts Winning Streak with Foolish Wager
In 2013, Steven Richards, a 56-year-old British roofing contractor and retail and online sports betting fan, won a £40,000 accumulator, then lost £30,000. The veteran bettor first accurately predicted the outcome of twelve football matches, which led him to turn £10 into £40,000. Accumulator wagers also get called multi-bets and parlays in the US. They are a standard option at top-end internet platforms and involve laying down several event wagers on one slip. A complete BetUS sportsbook review details this option at this site. And it works identically on others.
After accumulating his mini-wealth snagged via a stroke of knowledge and luck, Richards decided to bet £30,000 that Wales would beat Australia in an international rugby match, which they failed to do so, losing 26 to 30.
3. Vegas Dave Drops a Mil on UFC 200 Fight
Undoubtedly, Miesha Tate is one of the biggest names in female MMA. The former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion brought massive attention to the sport thanks to her stunning good looks and top-end martial arts skills. In 2011, she ignited a feud with Ronda Rousey that elevated women’s fighting into a new stratosphere.
In March 2016, Tate got a shot at UFC gold, going against Holly Holm, the former boxer turned MMA champion who had just upset Rousey in a high-profile PPV in Australia. Tate pulled out the upset and earned a UFC 200 headlining spot against now MMA GOAT Amanda Nunes. At that time, Nunes was a fierce competitor criticized for her cardio. Sin City high-stakes gambler bet one million on Tate overcoming the rising Brazilian, only to see Nunes steamroll Cupcake in three minutes.
2. Drake Bets on Argentina to Win the World Cup and Loses!
Drake has become the world’s most famous compulsive bettor, posting his gambling escapades on Instagram almost daily. The Canadian rapper favors the cryptocurrency gaming/sports wagering platform Stake.com, laying down over a billion dollars.
He followed his instincts in the World Cup 2022 match against France and Argentina, putting down a million on the Messi-led side to win. While Argentina did eventually prevail, they did through penalties. Since his wager had a stipulation attached that the team must win in regular time, he lost his wagered amount.
1. Swimmer Stakes His Life
In 1875, British swimmer Matthew Webb made headlines for swimming from Dover to Calais in less than twenty-two hours without artificial aid. The first human to do so.
In 1883, Webb made the unwise choice to try and swim through the Whirlpool Rapids on the Niagara River. With $10,000 on the line, he attempted the daredevil move and failed to accomplish this feat, losing his life.