Gambling is something that a lot of us like to dabble in. There are serious online slots players, hardcore horse racing punters or simply those that love playing the lottery every week.

There is however a limit to what most of us are willing to a) bet on and b) how much money we will place on that bet.

Some people obviously have more money than sense, or have such blinkered fate in their team that they place extortionate bets, the likes of which most of us would never consider, not even in our wildest dreams! The World Cup has brought some of these crazy bets and the gamblers to the fore:

Betting on England

The biggest world cup bet ever gambled on the England team was placed by a William Hill customer, a man who scarily is not an Englishman himself!

In 2006, he placed a bet of £150,000 in a London William Hill betting shop at odds of 6/1. If he had been successful he would have been a very happy chappy with a profit of £900,000.

Alas, it was not to be, but William Hill’s spokesman Graham Sharpe did assume that he was a Wayne Rooney fan as he waited until he had been confirmed for the squad before he placed his bet.

Foolish Investment

Another big-time gambler placed a bet that Italy would beat the USA, again in 2006. Unlike you and me who might go so crazy as to gamble a couple of hundred pounds if we were fully convinced of the outcome (or huge Italy fans) this man went a few steps further than that and staked £400,000.

Again it wasn’t patriotism that drove him to this measure. He was a Swiss businessman and at odds of 2/5 he stood to make a profit of £160,000. Unfortunately for him, it was a 1-1 draw.

It was a bold gamble that the Swiss man had taken and with a string of World Cup favourites having won, the bookies themselves were resigned to defeat when Italy went a goal ahead.

However when the USA equalised everything changed and the draw resulted in some £2 million to them, making it one of the best World Cup results ever!

Waiting On That Accumulator

But not all crazy bets end in disaster. One punter played the long game and placed an accumulator on 12 different sporting events that took place over the course of a year.

The 12 fold accumulator started in 2018 with England’s Test Cricket series against India. It ended with England to win the Cricket World Cup in 2019.

His 12 bets, aside from the two cricket finals were:

  • Celtic to win the Scottish Premiership
  • Europe to win the Ryder Cup
  • Novak Djokovic to win the Australian Open
  • Juventus to win Serie A
  • Barcelona to win La Liga
  • Liverpool to finish in the top two
  • MK Dons to finish in the top seven
  • Barnsley to finish in the top six
  • PSG to win Ligue 1
  • Bayern Munich to win Bundesliga

His predictions all came through and his £650 bet netted him a cool win of £258,000.

Speaking after winning the money the punter said: “I tried to stay positive throughout Sunday’s final, but it was incredibly stressful and my heart was racing right till the end.

“So it was a huge celebration for sure when England won.”

So it’s not all bad for those willing to risk a few quid on some crazy bets. Of course none of us would really run out and stick £400,000 on a game, but it is fun to read about it!