A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

13 Bizarre Things You Can (Legally) Bet On

The royals, Hollywood, aliens, and the end of the world are all waiting for your predictions.

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“If you can think of it, you can bet on it”

So says Joseph Del Duca, head of communications at VGW, a social gaming platform, Chumba Casino and Global Poker. Well, almost anything. Internet gambling isn’t legal nationwide, so check your state ad local laws before putting money on any online options. When gambling in person, stick to the casino games that give you the best odds. However, if you prefer betting online, be sure to do your research and read online casino reviews before choosing an online casino platform to bet on.

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people and mourning concept - woman with white lily flowers and coffin at funeral in church
Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Celebrity deaths

You may have heard tell of celebrity death pools: They’re real, starting with Doug Stanhope’s Celebrity Death Pool. While the FAQs state that “we cannot condone or promote gambling through this site” and “any and all wagering shall be considered to be not in conjunction, or associated, with this site,” you can play for points and hope for a prize.

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Handsome man giving piggy back to his girlfriend in the garden


In Ireland, it’s all the rage to bet on the sport of wife-carrying, which involves a man carrying a woman (it need not actually be his wife) down a 253-meter obstacle course, according to Betting Pro. The winner is the couple which reaches the finish line in the fastest time. “Some bookies like to sponsor horse races,” notes betting and gaming company Paddy Power, an event sponsor, “but we tend to be drawn more to strip poker tournaments…and now wife-carrying.”

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Cooper’s Hill Hosts The Annual Cheese Rolling And Wake
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Cheese rolling

Yes, cheese rolling really is a sport. The south-west English region of Gloucester hosts the unique event each year during springtime, according to Cheese.com. This is a sport where competitors must roll big old chunks of round cheese down a hill, and the quickest over the finishing line wins. According to the Betting Edge, you can even bet on who’ll be the winner.

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World Bog Snorkelling Championships
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Bog snorkelling

If you’re confused, you’re not alone. However, bog snorkelling is indeed a real event. Sunday 30th August 2020 will be the 35th Rude Health World Bog Snorkelling Championships, held annually in the United Kingdom, according to RAD Season. And yes, betting markets are offered every year with this activity. It is so popular that Lonely Planet described the event as one of the top 50 “must do” things from around the world in 2014 and one of the United Kingdom’s strangest traditions.

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Pope Francis Attends His Weekly Audience
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

The next Pope

You heard that right. The current Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, might be alive and well, but that does not stop people from putting bets on who the next one will be. Right now, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of the Philippines looks like the crowd favorite. Weird right? Here are some more weird facts most people don’t know.

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US North Korea Summit in Singapore, Sentosa Island - 12 Jun 2018

All things Kim Jong-Un

Another hot subject for the gambling crowd, you can bet on nearly anything concerning Kim Jong-Un bets, including:

  • When he will cease to be in power (2031 or later has the highest odds)
  • How he will cease to be in power (Paddy Power says death leads the pack)
  • Whether he will challenge President Trump to a round of golf (both are golf fans, so Paddy Power gives it good odds)
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Earth on earth

The end of the world

Do you belong to a doomsday cult and have inside knowledge on the end of days? You’re in luck: You can lay a bet with Paddy Power. The bookmaker has set the odds that the world will end before the end of 2018 at 500-1. If you were to place a $100 bet and our planet actually ceased to exist before January 1, 2019, you’d “win” $50,000. (It’s not clear how you’ll get the cash if the world has ended.)

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Galaxy in space, beauty of universe, black hole. Elements furnished by NASA
Vadim Sadovski/Shutterstock

Proof that there’s intelligent life out there

It’s one of the greatest unsolved science mysteries: Is there intelligent life out there? And the followup: How much would your payday be if you bet on it? Find out at PlayNow, which has the odds on when the sitting POTUS will confirm, without a doubt, the existence of intelligent life on another planet. As you might expect, the site favors 2020 or later.

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British Academy Television Awards, Arrivals, Royal Festival Hall, London, UK - 13 May 2018
James Gourley/Shutterstock

The next Dr. Who

If you spend evenings at the pub arguing who will be the next to play the Doctor after Jodie Whittaker, put your money where your mouth is: Paddy Power has odds on a lot of contenders. They include Tilda Swinton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Katie Price, and quite a few Game of Thrones alumni.

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The Queen, Duke Of Edinburgh, Prince Of Wales & Duchess Of Cornwall Visit Poundbury
Samir Hussein/Getty Images

Everything about the royal family

Do you have strong opinions on what the future looks like for Megan and Harry? Might as well bet on it. From what job will Prince Harry get next to whether or not they will lose their royal titles. you can cast a vote on almost everything regarding the royal family on Odds Shark. (By the way, a lot of people think Prince Harry will be a train driver.) If you think this is strange, check out these unusual royal traditions.

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Stock market chart,Stock market data on LED display concept.
GotziLA STOCK/Shutterstock

The stock market

Sure, you could play the stock market by buying index funds, and you could legally “bet” on individual stocks by purchasing ones you like—but you could lose your shirt. Want to play for fun and prizes only? Then check out Predict Wall Street, which sponsors weekly stock prediction contests. It’s free to play, and you could win up to $100 per day.

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Ferret bingo

Yes, ferret bingo really is a thing. According to Casino.org, a ferret is placed into a cage with several numbered exit tunnels and the exit tunnel it chooses is then confirmed as the winning number. People take this event so seriously that there have been allegations of “tunnel tampering” in the past.

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"Stranger Things" (Season 2) TV Series - 2017

Play Hollywood like the Stock Market!

For movie buffs who find the stock market a bit dry, there’s the Hollywood Stock Exchange, which allows you to buy and trade stock in movies, television shows, and actors and actresses. If the show or star is a hit, your shares rise. If the property is a bomb, you lose. The site’s motto is: “It’s not who you know but who you own.” While the site offers ways to win money, you won’t be betting any of your own hard-earned cash—and that means it’s legal everywhere. Before you “buy” any famous figures, see if they’re one of 13 celebrities who have FBI files.

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York–based writer whose work has appeared regularly on Reader's Digest and in a variety of other publications since 2008. She covers life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. Lauren is also an author of crime fiction, and her first full-length manuscript, "The Trust Game," was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.