5. Super Bowl Safety
Before Super Bowl XLVI between the Pats and Giants, a man named Jonah Rechnitz bet $1,000 that the first score of the game would be a safety. The odds? Well, since there had only been six safeties in Super Bowl history, they were 50-1. When Tom Brady got called for intentional grounding in his own end zone—while the score was still 0-0—Mr. Rechnitz got won $50,000.
4. In Roger We Trust
Sure, Roger Federer seems like a pretty safe bet to win Wimbledon now, seeing as how he’s won more grand slam titles than any other man in history. But back in 2003, he only had one grand slam title at Wimbledon under his belt.
Still, an Oxfordshire, England, man named Nick Newlife had a hunch. So he placed a £1,520 ($2,455) wager that Roger would win six more of them by 2019 at odds of 66-1.
Unfortunately, Newlife passed away in 2009, three years before Federer won that seventh Wimbledon title. However, he left his ticket to Oxfam, and the charitable organization claimed the £101,840 ($160,245) in winnings.
3. The Long Shot
In 2005, a Liverpool fan named Adrian Hayward had a dream that Liverpool’s Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso scored a goal from beyond the midfield line. So Hayward found a bookie willing to give him 125-1 odds that Xabi would score such a goal at some point during the 2005/06 season and placed a £200 bet.
On January 7, 2006, Xabi scored a goal from beyond the midfield line, and Hayward collected £25,oo0—which is about $40,000.
2. Faith in Son
When Rory McIlroy was just 15 years old, his dad, Gerry, and a few of his friends bet £200 ($340) at 500-1 odds that his son would win the British Open by the age of 25.
Well, Rory won the British Open at the age of 25, so that bet paid £180,000 ($290,000).
Gerry McIlroy’s cut? About $171,000.
1. The Biggest Parlay Ever
In 2001, a man from Safford, England, named Mick Gibbs laid a measly 30p (¢48 US) on an insane 15-match parlay.
Gibbs picked the winners of 15 soccer matches, with the odds of winning them all a staggering 1,666,666-1.
Of course, after Gibbs won the first 14 matches, all he needed was for Bayern Munich to defeat Valencia in the finals of the 2001 Champions League to win the entire thing. And wouldn’t you know it? Bayern did beat Valencia.
Gibbs’s payout on that $0.48 bet? Roughly $785,000.