Triumphing against all odds is what makes any match enter the history books. Defying the norm and exceeding expectations, the examples we will show below are exceptions, not the norm. But they are meant to show that anything can happen in professional sports. History gets written by the winners, and the fellows below are some of the largest examples.
Go big and go home!
Believing in yourself is half the battle when it comes to gambling. Having a stern look and unhackable belief can lead you to pull the most audacious and profitable moves. Mike Futter did so when he put money on his own horse, Monty’s Pass. Even when the odds were against his favor, from 40/1 to 16/1, he did not break character and still believed his prize horse could win.
For that, he was rewarded almost £800,000 back in 2003. For his belief, he remains in the betting history hall of fame among racing fans.
Yorkshireman’s retirement bet
Plenty of us dream of hitting big and cashing out on an early retirement. Back in 2008, a fellow by the name of Fred Craggs from Yorkshire wanted to celebrate his birthday with a joke of a bet. He placed a measly 50 p into an eight-horse accumulator. For that, he was looking at an incredible £2 million if it landed, and he probably brushed off the chance and laughed it off.
Fred was shocked when all eight horses came through, and he made betting history. In the end, he walked out with a million in his pocket because of payout limitations, but even some of the top bookmakers today would agree his winnings are still impressive. All others would pale in comparison to those odds and multipliers. One thing is for sure, we can safely say his pension fund was secure.
A 1.2 million-dollar Tiger
The exact number is $1.2 million, which was worth even more in 2018, when the win happened. James Adducci believed in Tiger Woods more than anyone, and his $100,000 bet proved fruitful. The 10/1 win made Tiger Woods’s triumph even more famous in the 2018 Masters tournament, securing his future career. Adducci proved to everyone back then the value of trust, foresight and luck, even when competing against the odds.
Luck of the carpenter
Speaking about people who went against all odds, Mick Gibbs is another tale of a regular bloke who hit it big time. He probably placed his bet as a joke, in the same way Fredd Cragg did, for he invested 30 p. He faced impossible odds in a 15-game aggregated race, but this roofer and carpenter secured enough money to set himself up for the rest of his life.
At massive 1,666,666/1 odds, he crowned his winnings after the Bayern Munich and Valencia final penalty shoot-offs, and banked a cool £500,000. Not bad for such a tiny stake.
The 2000 Olympic wrestling 2000-1 odds
We all love a David vs. Goliath story. A story like that happened in the 2000 Olympic wrestling, where Alexandr Karelin (the Goliath in our tale), an all-time champion in wrestling, went up against Rulon Gardner, who couldn’t even compare. The odds were 2000/1 against Gardner, who performed miraculously and won against all odds, leaving bookmakers and fans stunned.
You’re probably thinking Chris Moneymaker changed his name after his $2.5 million poker win. If you were to bet on that, you would lose, as that’s his real surname. His poker winnings, way back in the World Series of Poker in 2003, could also be described similarly.
Starting as a humble accountant, Chris made his fortunes by playing in the big poker leagues, from internet poker games to World Series of Poker tournaments. Chris even wrote a book called “Moneymaker”, explaining how he started with $40 and his road to millions.
An outsider knockout!
We’ve saved the best for last, proving once and for all that a David vs. Goliath tale can become the truth. Buster Douglas vs. Mike Tyson serves as a reminder that anything can happen in professional sports.
In 1990, inside Tokyo Dome, history was made when the absolute outsider underdog, Buster Douglas, managed to knock out Mike Tyson in the 10th round. Mike was not going easy on Douglas, who almost lost his chance to make history in the 8th round, but Douglas stood his ground.
Douglas didn’t stay in the spotlight for too long, and soon he disappeared into obscurity again. Mike’s throne was shaken, and the rest is history.