Gambling is a rather fascinating topic. There are tactics, psychology, financial control, and just general instinct involved at every turn. Many people are drawn to gambling as their only real chance of ever becoming rich. The idea that you can actually win lots of money with just a little help of luck and a small bet is what makes gambling so exciting. Big winners we read about in the news are not big gamblers. They just happened to try their luck on the right day. When luck strikes, it’s often for nothing really. A cent on a slot machine, a scratch card on our way out of the supermarket, or a quick sports bet. When it comes to casinos in Vegas, we are always told the house always wins and the highest paying casinos are instead online. Well, as true as that may be in theory, reality shows a different story. There are many examples of lucky winners but we have picked a few stories of people that have locked in some simply incredible winnings from some lucky bets. Exactly how lucky? Well, check out their stories and their winnings right here – the figures will blow your mind!
Sherwin the World War II Veteran
It would be fair to say that people get a little bit crazy when they venture into the desert of Las Vegas. It isn’t called sin city for no reason, and the gambling that you see at the tables and slots here is just ridiculous in some cases. However, ridiculous or not, the Vegas slots were particularly kind to Elmer Sherwin just 10 hours after The Mirage had officially opened for business.
Sherwin was 76 years old just casually spinning the reels of the Megabucks Jackpot game when his life changed forever. He dropped a jackpot of $4.6 million while enjoying a few drinks in The Mirage, and if that wasn’t enough, he won it again 16 years later when he dropped a $21 million jackpot in the same casino!
Almost $40 million at Excalibur Casino
If you thought Sherwin’s numbers were impressive before, wait until you hear this story. As the rumor has it, a 25-year-old man was waiting for a basketball game to start in Excalibur Casino when he just fancied a tipple on one of the jackpot slots. While spinning the reels, this man who is still anonymous to this day hit a jackpot of $39.7 million, which is still one of the all-time highest payouts in Vegas. We suspect it was rather unlikely that he then went into the sportsbook to bet a few dollars on the basketball game he was waiting for!
One thing we do know is that this man chose to receive an annual payout of $1.5 million for the following 25 years, so he probably quit his day job. As it stands, this is still one of the largest ever jackpots struck at any Vegas casino, and not even Sherwin with his two jackpots comes close to this number.
£1 million from a £0.50 sports bet
No – that isn’t a typo! From the sands of Vegas to the luscious green fields of a county called Yorkshire in the UK, one man’s life was changed forever following just a £0.50 sports bet. Fred Craggs of Yorkshire walked into a high-street bookmaker one day and made an eight-fold accumulator with a potential payout of £1,400,000. We are fairly sure that Fred Craggs wasn’t too confident that this accumulator would payout, as was evident by the fact that he didn’t even realize he had won until he walked back into the bookies later that day to try and bet again.
As the legend has it, Craggs went back in to check his ticket and was informed by the cashier that he had actually won this outrageous bet. He chose winners from a bunch of different horse races from all over the globe during one 24 hour period, and yes, he did wager just £0.50. While a £1,000,000 payout is dream territory for many of us, we have a feeling that Craggs may feel a little bit robbed in the end.
When he realized he had won his bet where the return was listed as £1,400,000, he also realized that his winnings would be capped at £1,000,000, as per the betting regulations in the UK. This means he had been robbed of £400,000 due to this restriction, which is a rather sizable figure indeed.
At the time that he made this bet, Craggs was actually a fertilizer salesman who was 60 years of age with a rather bleak looking pension on the horizon. He was still working long hours and making hardly any money – hence the £0.50 bet. However, Craggs landed this huge payoff, and presumably, he wasn’t too concerned about his pension after this momentous day.
These are just some of the most amazing wins that made the headlines in recent years and one thing is clear, they were all very lucky!