As David St. Hubbins said in the film This Is Spinal Tap, “It's such a fine line between stupid and uh…” with bandmate Nigel Tufnel interjecting, “clever.” With the exception of a few people, many on this list probably fall on the stupid side of the line.
There is no shortage of gamblers out there but, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the crème de la crème of gamblers willing to bet on anything, everything and even anyone to win a wager – often with disastrous results.
1The man who bet on getting women's breasts for a year and kept them
Moobs anyone? In 1996, Brian Zembeck was challenged by a fellow poker player to get breast implants and keep them for a year. If he agreed to go under the knife he would receive $100,000. Zembeck agreed and found a surgeon who was also a gambler. He bet the doctor on a game of backgammon and won the $4500 it cost for the breast implant procedure.
18 years later, Zembeck still has his 38C breasts and earns over $10,000 a year to keep them. The Canadian magician has had them in for so long that even his wife and kid are getting used to them. Besides, he's grown fearful about taking them out at his age stating, “When I take them out, they're going to look like wet socks with nipples in them.”
2The man who was given a 99-character name after losing a bet
What do you get when you add alcohol with losing a poker game? A 99 – character name is what you get!
A 22-year–old man from New Zealand is now known as “Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Other Superheroes Combined With Frostnova,” thanks to losing a drunken bet at a poker game.
Meeting the requirement of being under the 100 character limit set by the country's Department of Internal Affairs, Mr. Frostnova only recently found out his name was accepted when his passport expired and he received a new one. Frostnova now has to change his name on his driver's license and all other legal documents.
Of course, he could change his name back at anytime upon filing the right paperwork and paying the $127 fee.
Please, Mr. Frostnova, don't have a kid and make him a junior!
3The publisher who bet a client he couldn't write a book using under 50 words – the client writes a classic
Sometimes everybody wins when there's a bet. Take Bennett Cerf, co-founder of one of the biggest publishing companies in the world, Random House. The year was 1960 and Cerf bet a client of his, Theodore Geisel, that he couldn't write a book with fifty or fewer distinct words. Geisel rose to the challenge and delivered the classic Green Eggs and Ham using the pseudonym Dr. Seuss.
Cerf never paid up, but it seems like Geisel made out just fine anyway.
4The gambler who bet a vegetarian gambler to eat a hamburger, lost $10,000 and lost again when he refused to eat olives
High roller poker player Howard “The Professor” Lederer is known for being a vegetarian. Fellow gambler David Grey thought he had was sure to win $10,000 when he bet The Professor he wouldn't eat a hamburger with a beef patty. To everyone's surprise, Lederer downed the burger and made another bet in return. He bet Grey, a known olive hater, double or nothing if he would eat a few olives. Grey refused and lost a total of $20,000 that day.
5The man who won the right of tasering his wife on a bet and got arrested
It was a seemingly normal Monday Night Football game night for John Grant, a Chicago Bears fan and his wife, Nicole, a Green Bay Packers supporter. The couple was watching the game at a local bar in their town in Wisconsin while downing unknown quantities of alcohol. That's when things got interesting – the Grants decided to make a bet where the person who supports the losing team has to get shocked with a taser.
That night, the Bears won the game 27-20. The couple went into the alley behind the bar where Nicole was to receive the losing end of the bet. In the video, Nicole laughs the first time her husband shocks her. She then falls to the ground and tries to shelter herself behind a friends leg when Mr. Grant administers another round of voltage. After a third round, enough's enough for Nicole and she calls the police. John Grant was arrested for carrying a taser without a license. Nicole also told police that her husband had thrown her and their dog out of the semi-truck they were using as their home.
We've heard of Wisconsin Cheeseheads, but maybe this couple really does have heads made of cheese!
6The guy who bet his whole life savings and everything he owned on a roulette table
No list of outrageous bets would be complete without mentioning Brit Ashley Revell who, in 2004, at the age of 32, traveled to Las Vegas to wager everything he owned and his whole life's savings – $135,300 on a bet on the roulette wheel.
With the cameras capturing the moment for the TV show Double Or Nothing, Revell originally placed his bet on black with his family, friends and supporters looking on in horror and dismay. At the last moment, Revell moves his bet to red and watches the wheel spin in anticipation.
This story has a happy ending – Ashley Revell won and doubled his money! What did he do with his winnings? He gave the dealer a $600 tip and went back to England to start up an internet poker site.
7The man who lit his head on fire in a bet, earning only the nickname “Ghost Rider”
What, another entry on this list due to the effects of alcohol? Who would ever believe it? 36-year-old William Bonner of Augusta, GA would!
Bonner originally told to the authorities that he got into a bar fight at the Allie Katz bar and his face was burned in retaliation, but the surveillance footage told another story.
A very intoxicated Bonner asked one of his drinking buddies to douse his head with a shot of Bacardi 151, in a bet that his head would catch fire. Sure enough, after two attempts to light the fire his head went up in flames, and earned him the nickname “Ghost Rider,” – the comic book character with a flaming skull.
Bar manager Keith Bussey summed up this charbroiled tale best saying, “Do not have your friend pour alcohol on your head and have your other friend light it and think that it's cool in front of women.”
8The man who bet his wife…and lost
Desperate times call for desperate measures. In 2007, Russian gambler Andrei Karpov ran out of money while in a poker game against opponent Sergey Brodov. This is where the desperate part comes in – in order to stay in the game, Karpov put his wife, Tatiana up for stake!
Sadly for Karpov, he lost the game and his wife. However, Tatiana was the big winner – she married Brodov. As she later explained, “As soon as my ex-husband did that, I knew I had to leave him. Sergey was a very handsome, charming man and I am very happy with him, even if he did ‘win' me in a poker game.”
9The rapper who bet $5 he could take a punch from any girl at a party and lost…his life
There's nothing wrong with a little confidence, but sometimes overconfidence can get you into trouble.
Aspiring rapper John “Fatboy” Powell was performing at a house party in Crest Hill, IL in 2010 when things started to get a little crazy. Fatboy bet $5 that he could take a punch in the face from any girl at the party. 22-year-old Tiffany Startz accepted the challenge and clocked the rapper in the face. "I punched him and he just kind of stepped back and said, 'Wow! Nice Job,'" Startz later said of the incident. Powell then collapsed to the floor and was rushed to the hospital where he died as a result of a burst artery in his neck and brain injury caused by blunt force trauma.
Ruling the rapper's death a homicide, Startz stood trial for the death of Fatboy. She was latter acquitted of all charges.
No word on if the poor guy even got to collect his measly five bucks!
10The Baldwin brother who bet against Miley Cyrus. Guess who won?
In 2007, Stephen Baldwin of the famous (or is it infamous) Baldwin clan, met pop star Miley Cyrus at a White House dinner. Hungry for work and knowing that his daughters were big fans of Cyrus', the youngest Baldwin introduced himself to the teen sensation and star of Hannah Montana . The result of the conversation was that Miley bet if Baldwin got a tattoo of Cyrus' Hannah Montana initials, she would give him an acting spot on her TV show. True to his word, Stephen got the "HM" tattoo.
Fast forward a year later. Baldwin has a book signing in Nashville, home of Ms. Miley Cyrus herself. Miley and family surprise Baldwin by appearing at his book signing where he shows off the "HM" tat. But even after that, Hannah Montana went off the air in 2010 without Baldwin ever appearing.
How's that for a kick to his “Wrecking Balls?”