10 Crazy but True Gambling Stories That’ll Blow Your Mind

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From amazing strokes of online luck to casino robberies, to fortunes lost, these ten gambling stories may make you think about how you need to play your game.


Ethereum Exit Scam

A player, who remains unidentified, except by the winning address “0xa169DF5ED3363cfC4c92ac96C6C5f2A42fCCBF85” sent waves through the internet when he outsmarted Fomo3D, the popular ethereum game and won about $3 million in 2018. The online gambling experience seemed unbeatable, and is still one of the most surprising gambling stories, because of its Ponzi scheme type design. 

However, this player outsmarted the system, including human and bot players by observing purchase times, clogging the blockchain, and getting a key when player activity was low.

Fomo3D is a game where players who use bitcoin to buy “keys” in a pot have 24 hours to keep playing, and the last person to pay under this clock gets all the money in the pot. Exitscam.me, the Fomo3D domain describes the game as:


“It’s your exit scam


Welcome to blockchain development

Your ICO is over,

The hype is drying up.

Take the private keys; drain everything.

You will guarantee yourself a fortune

You will take everything for yourself

It’s as simple as buying the last key.”

Once a player makes a purchase, 30 seconds are added onto the clock, and the price of the next key gets higher, that is until the 24-hour clock maxes out. With unlimited plays, these “keys” eventually add up, and each player receives a piece of the pot’s earnings, with the last player getting the most.

“It sounds like the winner carefully studied the behavior of the automated [bots] people had managing buy-ins for them. I watched their behavior. Spent days and lots of ETH testing ways to defeat them and found a moment when no other human players were playing,” the game’s inventor told Vice.com.


Tiger Woods Comeback Bet

Sports betting has its share of gambling stories, especially with Golf, as many games are played with bets on wins.

James Adducci, in serious debt with a mortgage and unpaid student loans, used his life’s savings of about $85,000, to wager a bet on Tiger Woods’ game in April 2019, during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. He ended up winning over $1.2 million.

Adducci had a hunch Woods would win the masters after watching the games leading up to the finals, and upon getting his wife’s reluctant blessing, he made his first sports bet.

“A month before is when I knew I was going to do it,” Adducci told Golf Digest. “I had been thinking a lot about this. I watched Tiger’s performance at the Tour Championship, and things seemed to be going his way. I looked at how well he did there, and some other factors you can’t put stats behind. It wasn’t about the stats for me. The fact that this was going to be his first major in front of his kids, I was convinced he would win.”

The Wisconsin daytrader told multiple publications that he used all he owned, left his hometown for Las Vegas, and even took a shared Lyft to ride to pound the Vegas pavements, looking for which casino would accept his wager.

The SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, which is operated by William Hill, finally decided to take on the wager. A move that resulted in the largest payout to a person on a futures gamble in the sportsbook’s overall U.S. history.


Micheal Jordan

Touted as one of the best basketball players of all time, Micheal Jordan has a documented reputation with crazy gambling stories. His habit was so intense that it is rumored that his exit from the game in 1993 was not due to his voluntary retirement. It was because the NBA couldn’t deal with his gambling habit.

Jordan bet on everything. For example, the time while with his Bulls teammates at a Portland airport, he made a bet that his luggage would come out first, which it did! However, his teammates did not know that he cheated by paying airport staff to load his luggage first.

One of his most daring bids was when he lost $300,000 in golf betting. This infamous bet was written about in the book “Michael & Me: Our Gambling Addiction… My Cry for Help” by Richard Esquinas, and later on confirmed by gambling cohort Charles Barkley.


Delaware Casinos Open Slowly

Pastor Robbing

A pastor in Las Vegas, Gregory Bolusan, was arrested in 2017 for robbing the M Resort Casino in Henderson, Nevada three times! Though not directly related to placing bets, this still goes down in the hall of fame of wild gambling stories. This is straight-up gambling with life!

According to KSNV News3LV, the first attempt happened when Bolusan, in a white 2010 Toyota Camry with covered plates, demanded money holding a gun and backpack. When the employee at M Resort ran off, Bolusan walked away empty-handed.

Bolusan returned about a month later, with the same car, wearing the same clothes and parked in the same spot. This time when he demanded money at gunpoint, he fled with over $29,000.

He returned a month later, this time wearing different clothes, and almost made off with over $33,000. But on this occasion the casino’s staff apprehended him, leading to Henderson police arresting him. 

The police revealed that he was a pastor at Grace Bible Church in Las Vegas. Also, they said his gun was fake! Bolusan was charged with felony charges, including robbery and burglary.

In an update to this story, Las Vegas television station KNTV reported that Bolusan’s wife was a shift worker at M Resort, and could have been key to the multiple robberies.


Gambling for Robbery

Kerry Johnson faced bank robbery charges in West Virginia in 2016, after police said he was gambling at a blackjack table. According to reports, he left to rob a bank and came back to the casino to continue playing.

According to WJLA, Johnson was arrested in Nitro, W. Va., after police reported in a criminal complaint that he robbed a City National Bank around 3:30 pm on Aug. 26, 2016.

The complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court, W. Va., said that when Johnson was playing blackjack at the Mardi Gras Casino, he strategically left the table. He was seen leaving a $25 chip at the table.

Johnson then went to the bank and demanded cash after telling an employee that he had a bomb and a weapon on hand. Upon receiving the money, he fled in a green Mazda Miata. He then returned to Mardi Gras and continued gambling.

After detectives put out this tweet on Twitter, Johnson was identified, but during questioning he denied the accusation, stating that he was gambling at the Mardi Gras from 10 am to about 4.30pm that day. When police, in turn, searched his home, they found a wad of cash stuffed into a couch.

Upon further investigation into one of the most bizarre gambling stories, Nitro detectives discovered some camera footage. It proved that Johnson left the casino at the time of the robbery, which was around 3.30pm. This video proof led to his arrest. 

According to WJLA, “The money taken during the robbery was recovered at the same table where Johnson was seen gambling.” Johnson was charged with bank robbery.


60K Roulette

One of the boldest moves in recent gambling stories was when top U.K. poker player Jake Cody bet his winnings from a tournament, about £42,670, or $59,992, and won!

In February of 2018, Cody was at the top of his game at the U.K. Poker Championship at Dusk Till Dawn casino in Nottingham, England. He won the game’s payout. Instead of being satisfied with what some would consider a modest year’s salary; he decided to bet it all on a game of roulette.

Dusk Till Dawn himself – Rob Yong – was the one to spin the ball and decide Cody’s fate,” reported a Sport Bible article.

When the ball fell on Black 22, the crowd went wild, with Cody walking away with £85,340, or $119,882. As you can expect, the story went viral on social networks!


Iowa casino fined for underage gambling violation a second time in 2019

From 14-cents to $1,300

When sports lover Kevin Maselli made a small, recreational $0.14 parlay on an NCAA tournament game, he never expected to win so big!

The 29-year-old teacher from Asbury Park, NJ, would usually bet in small amounts, from pennies to 10-cents on the several tournament games, with selections that all have to add up to be correct to win. “It’s weird, but placing these cents parlays is something I’ve always done,” Maselli told ESPN.

According to the ESPN article, after Maselli and his girlfriend Leah DiNardo spent time walking along the Jersey shore, they discussed their choices for the round-of-32 games on tap. Maselli took his girlfriend’s advice and returned home to place a lot of penny parlays strategically. With only 14 cents left in his DraftKings online account, Macelli placed a parlay with odds that were 10,000 to 1.

“Kentucky and Michigan covered the spread, with both games staying under the total. Michigan State, Florida State, Baylor, and Purdue all came through for Maselli. Auburn-Kansas would decide the parlay, and he needed the Tigers -1.5 plus the game to go over 146.5 points,” the ESPN article said.

Maselli was ecstatic when he received a congratulatory email from DraftKings at 12:45 am the following morning. He told ESPN that he screamed, “Boom goes the dynamite!” Once he confirmed that he had won $1,345.78 from his 14-cent bet.

As far as gambling stories go, this one has a romantic twist… Maselli plans on putting the money in a ring fund for when he proposes to his girlfriend.


Making $1 million from $5

Harold McDowell, 85, of Lakewood, New Jersey shocked his wife when he won $1 million from $5.00 while gambling at the Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City.

“I happened to be playing next to my wife. I had my back to her.” McDowell told The New York Post. “I turned around and said, “I just won a million dollars.” “She told me, “You’re full of crap.”

It was a Saturday afternoon when McDowell bet the $5 on a 6-Card Bonus on a Three Card Poker game. He was stunned to see a royal straight flush of diamonds when the dealer laid out the cards. This hand was 1 in over 20 million odds.

It was an even sweeter win as far as gambling stories go because his wife was declared cancer-free a day before. She went through several surgeries and treatments for liver cancer, while also dealing with colon cancer for years. “It must be luck of the Irish,” McDowell told The New York Post. “They’re both great news.”

“He bet $5.00 on the Three Card Poker “6 Card Bonus” bet and hit a six-card Royal Straight Flush of Diamonds for a $1,000,000 win. This was the first time this bet hit at Borgata and experts at wizardofodds.com confirm that the odds of hitting the Bonus Royal Flush are 1 in 20,348,320,” the Borgata Casino said in this Facebook post.


The rising star of online slot machines: Hacksaw Gaming

Gamblers Remorse?

Not all gambling stories are about incredible wins: for many, gambling is an addiction. This man from Australia, however, blamed his prescription medication for his lavish spending.

The man, whose identity was undisclosed and protected a complaint he made to by the Northern Territory Racing Commission in Australia, lost about $400,000 in 24 hours. In the gambler’s claim, he said that he had a “medical reaction” to the painkillers, which in turn led him to make bad decisions. He then placed a bid, asking for his money back.

According to an article in abc.net.au, he stated in his complaint to the commission that he had doubled his prescription drug use over the weekend that he lost the money to Ladbrokes while horse betting. 

“[It was an] extreme medical reaction to prescription [medicine] and [I] was gambling while incoherent and unable to control any inhibitions or limits due to the prescribed medication, along with a severe head injury from approximately four years ago,” he told the commission.

The gambler’s doctor also backed up his claims, stating that his mental health had deteriorated due to increased back pain, while the gambler was previously camping.  

While the commission investigating the case found no foul play from Ladbrokes, it did discover that the gambler had previous winnings of about $3.2 million from Ladbrokes since 2014.

Ladbrokes saw a red flag when a few months before the loss, the gambler raised his monthly deposits into their account from $1,886 to $124,581. The company then checked in on him with a phone call. 

According to the commission, the gambler responded in a recorded conversation: “[I had] an extra couple of dollars on my hands and thought we’d have a go or two.”

The commission eventually said that the gambler was “responsible for his betting activity.” His Ladbrokes account has since been suspended.


Major Online Roulette Loss

Online betting has its share of crazy gambling stories and losses. A self-proclaimed gambling addict recently revealed that he lost £127,000, or about $155,270 in 26 minutes of playing in an online roulette game.

In an ITV interview with the British sitcom actor Ross Kemp, Alex, the 35-year-old U.K. gambler, said he has been gambling online since he was 17, and that the habit since then has cost him significant relationships.

“I” ve lost friendships, jobs, relationships – I was engaged, I don’t see my daughter. I’ll never get back some the friendships and relationships I’ve lost,’ said Alex, in this video recording with Ross. “Online has a completely different impact on it, its phones, its laptops, smart tellies. It’s just crazy it just so scary.”

According to an article on the U.K.’s Daily Mail website, Alex claimed that all the money he earned that day vanished in just ten or eleven spins of an online roulette game.

Alex told Ross that he has had to exclude himself by living off the grid and is trying to recover from addiction. “I can never bet again. I would class myself as an addict if I were clean thirty years down the line – still class myself as an addict.”

Alex also told Ross that he is currently in gambling rehabilitation.

Some of these stories may come as a surprise to you, but there are many more interesting stories out there. Hopefully, these stories give you some perspective on what to do and what not to do in regards to gambling.

It is essential to treat gambling as a casual form of entertainment and bet only what you think you can lose. If gambling excites you, set budgets and enjoy it as an activity.