Top 5 Biggest Wins in Betting History

Reader's Digest Editors

From 50p bets to thousands in a leap of faith for their favourite teams. These betters had luck on their side when they decided to head to the bookies, resulting in five of the biggest wins in gambling history.

A Million-Dollar Bet from Mayweather

Floyd “Money” Mayweather is the king of gamblers, as well as the highest earning athlete in the world, and he’s no stranger to placing huge bets on everything from football to basketball. But it was his £5.9 million that made headlines – he bet on Miami Heat to beat the Indiana Pacers, a bet that earned him a staggering $6.49 million in cash.

The Best 50p Fred Craggs Ever Spent

In 2008, Yorkshireman Fred Craggs made the decision to celebrate his 60th birthday with a horse racing bet, but it’s fair to say he probably wasn’t putting all that much thought into it since he was only betting 50p. He chose an eight-horse accumulator, with the only common theme among them being that they all had extremely long odds. The bookmakers offered him a whopping two million in odds, but it paid off. Every horse came in on race day as Craggs had predicted and his stake turned into a £1 million payout.

Yates Predicts the Magnificent Seven

In 1998, Ascot racecourse turned into the setting for one of the best bets of all time. At the time, Franki Dettori was a popular jockey with punters but Dettori himself was one of the few people who didn’t agree about his chances. Of the seven races he was due to take part in, he believed it was possible that he could maybe win two. The punters disagreed and bet on him anyway with help from this betting guide – one of those punters was Darren Yates who bet £67.58 and combined all of the seven races into one bet, gambling that Dettori would win them all. It paid off and although there were many winners on that day, since Dettori did indeed win all seven races, no-one earned more than Yates who earned £550,823.

Mick Gibbs Gathered a Fortune

A roofer by trade, Mick Gibbs from Staffordshire has more than just construction as a skill – he also is a skilled gambler when it comes to accumulator bets. In 1999, he placed a £2.50 bet and accurately predicted the outcome of nine European football games that netted him £157,000. But that’s nothing compared to his 2001 bet where he placed a 30p bet to predict the winners of 15 games across Europe with odds of 1,666,666. Although 14 of those games didn’t pan out as Gibbs expected, the last ended in penalties and the final kick made Gibbs £500,000 richer.

Billy Walters Becomes the Greatest Sports Punter

Before turning his hand to sports betting, Billy Walters was a professional poker player. Over the course of four decades, he has bet more money than anyone else in history and it’s earned him millions of dollars in winnings. But his most outrageous bet of all time was on the New Orleans Saints when they played the Indianapolis Colts at the 2010 Super Bowl. At the time, the Saints were the underdogs – despite this, Walters bet $3.5 million and the Saints won their first ever Super Bowl at 31-17. No-one knows how much Walters won but it was sure to be big given that the Saints were the underdogs.