A Happily Ever After: Sports Bettors Who Risked and Won It All

It’s a wonderful world when, once in a while, the stars conspire and make someone the biggest, best sports bettor to ever win it all. It’s been there since the beginning of time—betting something of value to you in exchange for bragging that you can kick the ball the farthest or you can hold your breath the longest.

There had been easy days and hard days for these sports bettors. One thing in common that they have, though, is that they never walked away from a bet they knew they could make.

Mali Beats the Odds

The year? 2010. The game? It was Mali vs. Angola in the African Cup of Nations. The match? 4-nil. Angola was winning by a landslide, Mali was in tatters, and the game was about to be decided in 16 minutes. That is, until a bettor decided to root for Mali to the tune of £5. A sudden surge of luck saw Mali erase the deficit to end the match in a draw, earning the punter a cool £5000.

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The Super Bowl XLVI Safety

Prior to this bet, the Super Bowl only had 7 safeties scored in its history. The second one came from New England Patriot Tom Brady. Yet, a bettor had the idea to go against the odds put by Las Vegas MGM sports book—50:1. There was a higher sports book total of 75:1, but he went ahead, anyway. It resulted into turning his 1k into a 49k profit.

The Japanese Banzai Dive

Yasuhiro Kubo must’ve thought that his sport—skydiving—was still too safe. So, he made a bet that he could toss his parachute before he jumped out of a plane—a minute later. He bet his life that he could chase after it, strap in, and still had enough time to parachute safely. Which, of course, he did, or the record wouldn’t have been made.

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Billy Walters, Super Bowl XLIV millionaire

Billy Walters had the idea to play a safe bet—to the tune of $3.5 million—on the underdogs during the Super Bowl XLIV. What happened, of course, was a sign of the total injustice in this world; Walters lamented how he got so caught up, he bet more money than was safe for him. Now he has to live with his regret that he made $3.5 million more on the bet.

Aren’t these people lucky? That’s the power that a gut feeling and the willingness to risk it all brings. You won’t have a hard time if you already bet using a crystal ball, but these bets are just outrageous as they are impressive.