In 1989 an anonymous man from Wales placed a £30 bet at Ladbrokes, a London gambling establishment. The terms of the bet? The Welshman wagered that as of January 1, 2000:
- The band U2 would still be together and active;
- British entertainer Cliff Richard would receive a knighthood;
- The soap opera Eastenders would still be shown on BBC as a weekly program; and
- Australian soap operas Neighbours and Home and Away would still be appearing on British television.
The likelihood of these events happening earned this man the formidable odds of 6,479 to 1.
For the next decade few people gave the matter much thought at all, until January 2000, when the man showed up with his wager ticket to collect his earnings: £194,400 ($279,871).
It is the largest payout to date on a novelty bet.
For other interesting wagers, check out our Gambling and Wagers category.