The 10 Greatest Novelty Bets of All Time

The 10 Greatest Novelty Bets of All Time

Not everything in life has to be so serious.

That's why we love novelty betting. If you're unfamiliar, it's the practice of betting on events most often nonsensical and generally falling outside of traditional sports wagering. In fact, we love silly bets so much that we recorded a whole podcast dedicated to them:

Aliens visiting earth, White Christmases, the next Pope, Game of Thrones and the Oscars; these are examples of just some of the markets you can avail of on the stranger side of the bookies.

So, if you like the idea of betting on any of the above (or some even weirder stuff!) read on for our 10 favourite novelty bets, past, present and future.

Top 10 Novelty Bets

  1. Suarez Bites Again!

    Luis Suarez

    Luis Suarez. Great football player or a badly disguised cannibal? We're not so sure.

    After the Uruguyuan bit two players on the pitch (in separate games) back in 2012 and 2013, bookies decided to offer odds on whether or not he would have another mid-match meal at the 2014 World Cup.

    Punters, always up for a laugh, seemed to think the market might actually represent some value considering Suarez' volatile personality and on-pitch dental record. Thus, the bets came piling in.

    Lo and behold our man was feeling a tad peckish during his country's final group match with Italy. He chomped down on Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder in the 79th minute, giving punters a decent payout and his PR manager a heart attack in the process. Nice.

  2. The Queen's Hat (Royal Ascot)

    The Queen of England

    The colour of the Queen's Hat is a fun addendum to Royal Ascot every year and has become a traditional part of the betting for the festival - almost as much as the races themselves.

    Last year it was blue - a pretty standard colour - but there have been arguments between bookies in the past when the Queen wears a colour that's difficult to label - take fuschia for example. Most often they'll pay out on a number of different 'block colours' if this happens.

    The market, which you'll often find in the specials betting section at online bookies, has been offered every year since 1973.

  3. One Small Bet For Man

    Moon Landing

    In 1964, David Threlfall of England placed his first ever bet on man reaching the moon before December 31st 1971.

    William Hill, unconvinced that the lofty punt would ever need to be paid out, offered the 20-year-old odds of 1000/1 “for any man, woman or child, from any nation on Earth, being on the Moon, or any other planet, star or heavenly body of comparable distance from Earth, before January, 1971.”

    Neil Armsrong became the first person to walk on the moon on 20th July 1969 (a year and a half before the bet would expire) and Threlfall was paid out live on TV to the tune of what would be worth £250,000 today.

  4. Super Bowl Gatorade

    Gatorade Shower

    Every year, the colour of the Gatorade poured on the winning coach at the Super Bowl becomes a fun prop for NFL fans. It's not possible to deploy a lot of logic when trying to predict the Super Bowl Gatorade shower colour - but punters seem to love betting on it anyway. Here are some recent winners:

    YearWinning TeamGatorade Colour
    2018Philadelphia EaglesGreen
    2017New England PatriotsNo Gatorade Shower
    2016Denver BroncosOrange
    2015New England PatriotsOrange
    2014Seattle SeahawksOrange
  5. A Chesty Wager

    Brian Zembic

    Brian Zembic, a Las Vegas gambler and magician, is one of the more interesting characters you'll find on this novelty bet list. And with good reason too.

    In 1996, Zembic's buddy bet him $100,000 that he wouldn't get breast implants and keep them in for a year.

    Not only did Zembic rise to the challenge but, over two decades later, he still has the implants in.

    He grew to like his new cleavage (the $10,000 he's still paid per year he keeps them might be helping). As of 2013, he still had no plans to revert the procedure.

  6. White Christmas

    Christmas Snowman

    Betting on whether it will snow on Christmas Day is as much a festive tradition as mince pies, presents and good ol' Santa. However, there is a certain catch when it comes to how most bookies price up the market.

    For most, it needs to snow at a particular airport for the bookies to pay out. The market is also divided, so you cannot bet on a 'whole of the UK' white christmas - you'll need to be more specific with a certain city or area.

    There has, in a technical sense, been over 25 'White Christmases' since 1967 in the UK - whereby at least one drop of snow was spotted. But, no 'official' White Christmases have been recorded at a UK airport since 2004. Could that change this year? Check out the odds at Ladbrokes.

  7. Futures Betting

    Child Kicking Football

    Did you know that you can bet on your own child becoming a Premier League footballer?

    For obvious reasons these bets aren't available to place online, but by approaching the bookies directly they may supply you with odds.

    You can do the same to bet on yourself becoming Prime Minister - something that two sitting Tory MPs have actually decided to do. Classic, pesky politicians!

  8. End of the World

    Empty School Hall

    Are you an eternal pessimist? Then this bet's for you!

    Top specials bookies have been offering an end of the world market for quite some time. It generally rolls over on a yearly basis and most often sits steady at around 80/1 odds. In 2012, when the Mayan Calendar prophesied that we would all die, traders saw a swathe of worried souls pile on their cash in the hopes of profiting off their supposed impending doom.

    Probably the most interesting thing to note about this bet is that it's really unlikely you'll be able to claim your winnings you manage to pull it off. A double-edged sword really - check out the market at Betway.

  9. Uganda be Kidding Me

    Robin Van Persie Scores Against Arsenal

    In 2013 Ugandan Arsenal fan, Henry Dhabasani, made a dreadful bet with his friend Rashid Yiga on a Premier League football game.

    Dhabasani, with bonkers confidence, put his house on Arsenal beating Man United, while Yiga staked his Toyota car and his wife on the reverse result.

    Arsenal lost 1-0 and reports at the time indicated that Dhabasani, in utter disbelief, fainted at the end of the game. Manchester United fans then stormed his house the following Monday, throwing him and his family out.

    If you learn anything today make it this - don't bet your house on anything, ever. Especially Arsenal.

  10. Alien Existence


    With all the advancements in science and tech in recent years you have to wonder; when are we going to find proof that Aliens exist? What will they look like? How will they communicate? Will they be friendly or hostile? Most importantly, can I bet on their existence?

    The answer to that last question is yes. You can bet on it at a range of nz sports betting.

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