Most Famous Sports Bettors’ Stories


Posted: January 25, 2023

Updated: January 25, 2023

  • When intuition wins you a fortune
  • Legendary sports bets
  • Most famous sports bettors

Sports betting has been around for thousands of years. Once money and property appeared, people were tempted to make risky investments in order to win something. Today, we can bet on everything and anything. There are stories that sound unbelievable, while others will make you roll your eyes or smile. Many bettors fail most of the time, but there are those whose names we will never forget. Check out the most famous sports bettors below!

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Adrian Hayward was Persistent

Football and sports bettor Adrian Hayward decided to listen to his instincts when he dreamed that Xabi Alonso, the then-active Liverpool superstar midfielder, would score a goal from his own half. Hayward walked into Paddy Power’s betting shop and placed a £200 bet that his dream would become a reality during the season at some point. Paddy Power gave him odds of 125:1, and he was probably laughed at by everyone in the bookies after he walked out the door.

However, they didn’t laugh for long as Hayward’s dream came true in 2006 in an FA Cup match against Luton Town. It was 4-3 in Liverpool’s favor, and Luton attacked with full force to score an equalizing goal. Even the goalkeeper went all the way to Liverpool’s penalty area when latching on to a rebound, Alonso spotted the

Luton goal empty and scored a mammoth goal from his own half. Then it was Hayward’s turn to laugh. He turned up at the bookie and picked up the well-earned £25,000 he had won because he dared to believe and listen to his instincts. In an interview with the BBC, Hayward stated that he had never placed such a big bet on anything, he just had a strong gut feeling, and last but not least, he was very observant.

He has been a Liverpool fan for 26 years, and he noticed that Alonso had attempted a shot on goal quite a few times from his own half.

Most Famous Sports Bettors

There are very few people in the world, who have enough knowledge about a particular sport or subject to be nicknamed an oracle, but Mick Gibbs may be one. The Staffordshire man is a roofer and also a skilled gambler, especially when it comes to accumulator bets. Now, many people may say that a successful wager is simply a matter of luck, but when someone makes multiple accumulator bets over the years, earning a fortune in the process, should you start thinking about whether he is really just lucky, or is there knowledge behind it?

Gibbs first won £157,000 from a £2.50 bet in 1999 when he correctly predicted the outcome of nine various European football matches. We can call him a lucky gambler for that win since it worked for him once. However, that was nothing compared to his bet in 2001, when he bet 30p to predict the winner of 15 European games with odds of 1.6 million to one. In the end, he only needed Bayern Munich to beat Valencia in the Champions League final. After a draw, the Germans won in an exciting penalty shootout, making Gibbs rich.

Gibbs won £500,000 from the mere £0.30 stake he placed, as the multipliers all added up. He sat through the penalty shootout calmly, without having a tantrum or a heart attack, which says a lot about him. Gibbs proved that sports betting is at least partially skill-based and can be learned. Two such bets cannot be purely a matter of luck. No one has heard from Gibbs since, so it’s impossible to say how he managed to win that much twice.

Kyle Jordan’s Accumulator Bet

In 2016, Kyle Jordan from London made an accumulator bet on the outcome of six English Premier League football matches. In the 2016 season, he predicted Liverpool, Cardiff, Reading, Sheffield United, Bury, and Everton to win matches in which both teams score. By the end of the season, his teams had won five of those games, with both teams scoring goals. 

With just the last 15 minutes of a match left, he needed only one more goal to win £45,000 with a stake of just £5 with incredible odds of 9,172 to 1. Romelu Lukaku made that dream come true after Everton scored two more and won the game and the bet for Kyle. He reportedly immediately spent the winnings on a luxury trip across Canada and America. You can place the same bet at Bovada Sportsbook!

Most Famous Sports Bettors

In 2015, bookmakers offered odds of 5,000 to 1 for Leicester City to win the Premier League. One person who took advantage of this opportunity was Leigh Herbert, who risked just £5. According to online gambling sites in the UK, he placed this bet drunk after a night out because his favorite team, the beloved Foxes, stayed in the first class.

The team got the nickname Foxes after a popular fox hunt in the area. The odds of Leicester winning the league were month-by-month: August: 5000-1; September: 1500-1; October: 1500-1; November: 500-1; December: 66-1; January: 16-1; February: 7-1. Herbert’s bet was with odds of 5000 to 1 because he believed in the Foxes.

Later, when Leicester was getting better and better and felt they could compete for the title, he was approached by the bookmaker William Hill with whom he had placed the bet, to offer him £3,200 immediately if he got out of the wager. However, he was undeterred, and how well he did it! By the way, he wasn’t the only one who won big with this bet but also a fellow fan who bet 75 pounds in September.

At that time, the bookmakers only accepted bets of 1,500 to one odds. According to the reports, he was not as persistent, so the bookmaker convinced him to cancel his bet. It wasn’t such a bad deal either. At the end of the season, a spokesman for the bookmaker said of the unforeseen events that the Foxes’ league title cost the bookies more than two million pounds. With his 20,000 pounds prize, Leigh paid off his debts and could even put some money aside, thanks to his trust and persistence. 

The Mysterious Legendary Bettor

One of the most famous sports bettors became legendary, not just because of his unbelievable bet but due to the spectacular match. In 2010, at the African Cup of Nations, Angola, the host, played with the far less likely Mali team.

The unknown bettor thought that Mali would win or the very least, the match would end in a draw, so he placed a Double Chance. He risked five pounds for this wager. The game went according to expectations until the 79th minute when the score was 4-0 for Angola. At that point, the guest team scored a goal and another in the 88th minute.

By the 90th minute, it stayed like this, but there were 4 minutes of extra time. Angola was waiting for the whistle to signal the end of the match, knowing that they would win. However, in the 93rd minute, they only led by one goal because Mali scored again. A minute later, the miracle happened, Mali scored its fourth goal, and the match ended in a draw 4-4. Though, the real winner was the bettor, who was £5,000 richer by the end.

The Most Famous Sports Bettor of Them All

Titanic Thompson was a genius scammer and sports bettor. Besides hustling and playing in casinos, he excelled in horse races and golf tournament bets. Even though Thompson won millions of dollars, he died without a penny to his name. Early on, he started playing with a false deck of cards, making him unbeatable. Wherever Thompson went, he cheated people out of their money, and soon, he gained fame and confidence. 

Rumor has it that his nickname came from a man he hustled, who claimed that the man was like the Titanic, sinking everyone. While he served in the army for over eight years, Thomspon made tens of thousands of dollars by gambling so he could go anywhere and do anything. As one of the most famous sports bettors, he won almost every bet he placed except for his weakness, horse racing. 

Titanic Thompson lost millions of dollars on horse bets and just over a million to Minnesota Fats after a pool game. Then he started playing golf in his 30s and was a natural player. Thompson worked hard to play well with his left and right hands, using that benefit to hustle thousands of dollars from wealthy golfers. He was so successful, besides cheating, due to his ability to find loopholes in every situation. Check out a more detailed article about cheating scandals in the gambling world!

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