On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced the United States’ goal of landing a man on the moon and bringing him safely home before the decade’s end. Three years later, […]
How Much Power is in a Drop of Water?
Every schoolchild learns about the power of water, and how a simple stream has the ability, over time, to cut through stone and form deep chasms. How often do we consider the […]
Weird Wagers — Which Would You Do?
English gambling records reveal some unusal wagers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: A Captain Bennett bet he could roll a hoop 22 miles in 3½ hours. A Mr. Lloyd […]
A Hunch that Paid Off
In 1989 an anonymous man from Wales placed a £30 bet at Ladbrokes, a London gambling establishment. The terms of the bet? The Welshman wagered that as of January 1, 2000: The band U2 […]
Return of the King? What are the Odds?
Ian MacMillan was counting on the return of the King — the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, that is. In 2002 MacMillan, an unemployed resident of Great Britain, placed a wager of five […]
Dishonesty Doesn’t Pay
British Member of Parliament Horatio Bottomley made a lot of money through fraud. He also lost a lot of money the same way. In a classic case of karma, in 1914 Bottomley […]
The Ugliest Man Ever
John Heidegger rose to fame in Switzerland and later in England as a promoter of masquerade balls. It should be no surprise that Heidegger was drawn to a profession that depended on […]
Around the World with a Baby Carriage
The Earl of Lonsdale accepted a bet from his friend John Pierpoint Morgan that no man could circumnavigate the globe, on foot, without being recognized. The wager didn’t end there. By 1908, […]