One of the best things about the gambling industry is that if there are people willing to wager money on something, then you can find a sportsbook willing to put odds on it.
From the bizarre to the hilarious, and even sometimes a little depressing, every potential outcome has a price. Even if you’re not doing it to make life-changing money, everything is better with a little skin in the game.
In this article, I’ll go over some of the strangest, most ridiculous bet offerings that I was able to find on online sportsbooks, outside of sports.
1 – The Royal Family
Now, let me start out by saying that for all my knowledge in sports and gambling, one topic I’m almost totally unfamiliar with is the British Royal Family. The names Meghan, Harry, Kate, and of course, Queen Elizabeth show up often enough in the news, but does anyone actually know what they do?
With this question in mind, I did a brief search and quickly learned that although I may not understand the cultural appeal, plenty of people are interested. And when plenty of people are interested in anything, there’s money to be made.
In fact, most sportsbooks do allow legal bets to be placed on events pertaining to this prestigious family. Here are some examples:
- Will Harry and Megan lose their titles?
- How long will Queen Elizabeth’s reign last? (Note, she’s 94 as of this writing.)
The fun doesn’t just stop there. A short look around some of the more popular online sportsbooks revealed that there are odds on other Royal Family happenings, such as where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will move next (San Diego leads the way with even odds, Miami is the longshot at +3000).
The most polarizing betting option I’ve found is whether or not there will be a third edition of “Megxit”—meaning a move from their current residence in Los Angeles, to another location.
Betting on the lives of celebrities, sorry, “Royals,” is mostly all fun and games. Perhaps gambling, is the most useful function of British royalty today.
2 – Aliens
You might think that intelligent alien life is a foregone conclusion. I’ll spare you my in-depth personal opinion on the matter, but to sum it up succinctly, it seems like alien life almost certainly exists but that’s about the biggest “almost” out there.
For that reason, the sportsbooks have put in strict parameters when it comes to the bet on this subject. The betting option I’ve come across most frequently requires full, undeniable proof of alien life.
Currently, one sportsbook (Bovada) lists the bet as:
- Will intelligent alien life be confirmed by Dec. 31, 2021? Yes (+1400), No (-10000)
The odds on such a proposition are actually quite interesting. Those betting that there will not be a confirmation of intelligent life by year’s end must accept odds of -10000. Now, that actually sounds reasonable. On the other hand, if you choose “yes,” your odds are only at +1400.
For reference, those odds of +1400 are actually less than the odds presented on UMBC beating #1 seeded Virginia in the NCAA tournament in 2018. If you’ve already forgotten, UMBC won the game.
The example above illustrates that +1400 for an event unprecedented in human history seems rather greedy by the sportsbooks. Perhaps they know something the public doesn’t, or they truly think there’s a chance we’ll get the confirmation of alien life everyone has been waiting for throughout the past several centuries (and probably longer than that).
The clock is ticking for the discovery to be made, but with the way things have gone over the past year, finding alien life almost seems par for the course.
3 – North Korea
For a country shrouded in as much mystery as North Korea, accurately predicting anything seems like a longshot.
With that being said, when Kim Jong-un disappeared for a period of time in early 2020, one sportsbook decided to put odds on who the next leader of the nuclear weapon-inclined nation might be when the dust settles.
With no children of suitable age to be in power, Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong was speculated to be the next in line. If you agree, the odds on her prospects were +150, which is quite reasonable and not a bad value.
Down the line, there were a handful of names which ranged from +250 to +500. You’ve almost certainly never heard of the other options, so I’ll save you the reading.
The longest-shot option that the sportsbook listed will bring a smile to basketball fans: Dennis Rodman, the eccentric former Chicago Bull who has formed a baffling relationship with the dictator over the past several years has odds of +50000. It’s an underdog for sure, but hey, you never know.
4 – Reality TV Shows
Millions of Americans, and presumably residents in other countries as well, love reality TV. It’s accepted that the ridiculous nature of the whole operation is exactly what makes it so hard to look away.
While there have been plenty of office pools and friend pools wagering on the outcomes of shows, specifically group game shows, sportsbooks are now joining in and offering their own odds.
Some of the most popular bets in the world of reality TV are: The Bachelor, Survivor, and American Idol.
When you look at the odds, there’s some appealing value, and it might actually make these shows more entertaining to watch (if that’s even possible, of course).
For example, on Season 25 of The Bachelor offered the following bet:
- Will Matt James marry the recipient of the final rose?
This wager generated the most action. If you chose “yes,” you put yourself in a low-risk, high-reward situation with odds of +350. If you chose “no” to the marriage prop bet, you’ll have to take on -600 odds.
Though the bet I laid out above was most popular, you can bet on who will receive the final rose as the season moves along. There’s even bets for spin-offs like The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, so your wagering options are abundant.
5 – Bond, James Bond
Throughout the course of film history, the legendary agent James Bond has been played by a number of different actors.
While Daniel Craig might be the most memorable Bond over the past decade, several new faces are in the running for the next film’s hero after Craig retires his sunglasses and sidearm pistol after the next film.
Keep in mind that if you do enough background research, you can gain a little bit of an edge in terms of predicting who the next Bond will be.
Following Hardy is James Norton at +325, followed by Idris Elba at +500. Given the recent (and overdue) push for diversity in film, Elba is an intriguing bet, in my opinion. Some of the longshots include Tom Hiddleston at +1500 and Aidan Turner at +2000.
My advice? Do a deep dive on the Hollywood blogs and see if you can find a tip that leads you to one of the available options. If you pick correctly, you might have some cash left over for some extra high-tech gadgets of your own.
And That’s Not the End of It
Though I’ve laid out a handful of interesting cultural betting options here, there are more bizarre things to bet on across various platforms in online sportsbooks. This was just a short list.
If you have a topic that you’re particularly interested in, seek it out and you’ll likely be able to wager on that, too. There truly is no end to the crazy events sportsbooks will put odds on if people are willing to bet.