- Perhaps channelling the character of 007 himself, Connery took to the roulette table and had a speculative bet on the number 17.
- Sherwin visited The Mirage in Las Vegas for its grand opening to the public and walked away with $4.6 million of winnings.
- On a visit to the Casino de Monte Carlo, Wells placed 23 bets in a row on the exact same outcome, winning every time!
Have you ever had a big win at the roulette table or won a 100-1 accumulator longshot? If you have, you’ll most likely have told everyone you know about your big win for the next few weeks, bending their ears about your skill or luck.
Well, can you imagine winning so big that the newspapers wanted to cover your story? The 5 people in this article have all hit the headlines after gargantuan casino wins. Read on to find out how they did it, how much they won and how the wins changed their lives.
1. Mike Ashley
Whenever you read a story about a person winning big at the casino you hope that they’re a nice person, maybe someone struggling to get by who will have their life changed by their winnings. Not a hard-nosed multi-billionaire who has arguably ruined one of the biggest and best-supported football clubs in the UK.
Fortunately, Ashley’s big casino win came in 2008 when the public were still oblivious to some of his dubious business practices. His £1.3 million win at the roulette table was reported favourably at the time and there was also much talk about his winning roulette strategy.
The Sports Direct mogul reportedly wagered £480,000 on all splits, corners, six-line bets, streets and a single bet on the number 17. To get a better understanding of just how crazy this win was, have a look at this thorough guide to roulette odds compiled by gambling expert and author Frank Scoblete.
Ashley used a fairly basic roulette strategy and got lucky, but it was bad news for the casino who later went out of business citing large player wins as one of their main reasons for falling revenues.
Mike Ashley’s £1.3 million roulette win would be enough to buy 10,400 pairs of Air Jordan’s at one of his many Sports Direct stores
2. Sean Connery
The iconic James Bond actor is next on our list for his massive roulette wins back in 1963. Perhaps channelling the character of 007 himself, Connery took to the roulette table and had a speculative bet on the number 17.
Rather than taking his winnings and running for the hills, Connery wagered all of it on number 17 again and it came up! Yet again, Connery decided not to leave and had one more bet on the same number. It came up again and the Bond actor scooped $27,000 in winnings, the equivalent of $228,000 in today’s money.
What was more remarkable than the amount of money won was the probability of Connery winning on number 17 three times in a row. Mathematically there was a 1 in 50,653 chance of the Bond actor’s bet coming in!
3. Elmer Sherwin
Most people play slot machines to relax and unwind and never really think about the possibility of winning big. World War Two veteran Elmer Sherwin had a completely different attitude altogether though, he played to win and win big.
On the 22nd November, 1989 Sherwin visited The Mirage in Las Vegas for its grand opening to the public and walked away with $4.6 million of winnings from one of the shiny new slot machines. The elderly gambler used his winnings to travel the world, but he still had a passion for slot machines and harboured hopes of winning big once again.
His prayers were answered in 2005 when he played on the same slot and won the $21 million jackpot. This time around Sherwin donated much of his winnings to charity, including a fund to help survivors of Hurricane Katrina.
Elmer Sherwin’s double wins show that slot machines aren’t just about free spins and small returns!
4. Ashley Revell
Do you remember that terrible ITV show Red or Black? That was hosted by Ant and Dec back in 2011? If you can’t remember this ‘classic’ then it was basically a game show where contestants chose red or black on a roulette wheel for the chance to win a share of the £15 million budget.
The show, which was pioneered by Simon Cowell was actually inspired by the real-life events of Englishman Ashley Revell. In 2004 at the age of 33 Revell sold everything he owned and bought a plane ticket to Las Vegas.
He bet everything he had ($135,000) on red at the Plaza Hotel & Casino and doubled his money when the ball landed on number 7 red. Unlike Sean Connery, Revell decided to call it quits with his first successful bet and took the money he made and put it towards establishing his own online gambling company.
Unfortunately, that never really got off the ground and now he owns a company that matches gambling staff with online gambling companies.
5. Charles Wells
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘gamblers fallacy’? Well you probably didn’t know that it originates from Charles Wells, a roulette player who actually won through following the gamblers fallacy in 1891.
On a visit to the Casino de Monte Carlo, Wells placed 23 bets in a row on the exact same outcome, winning every time! His behaviour now would be termed as gamblers fallacy as quite frankly, 23 consecutive bets on the same outcome would seem crazy.
However, Wells luck held, and he walked away from the casino that evening with 1 million Francs in his pocket, a staggering amount of money for the 19th century. Unfortunately for Wells his good fortune at the roulette table did not carry over into the rest of his life.
Years after his big roulette win, Wells found himself in prison after squandering his riches and failing to repay a loan he had taken out. At least he lived the high life for a time though!