The posh lifestyle of a celebrity is usually filled with crazy antics. Their extensive bank accounts usually give them a huge liberty to do, go, and buy pretty much whatever they want. So, it leaves them with a lot of room for free time and imagination. Combine this with a passion for betting and you will come up with some of the most peculiar bets ever made.
Shaq Attack: White House Edition
Besides being an NBA star, Shaquille O’Neal is famous for its colorful charismatic personality which has captured the heart of fans everywhere. In the Twitterverse alone, Shaq has a whopping 8.5 million followers, who love the clowning tricks of this 7’1″ Hollywood heavyweight.
During a conversation with DC sports radio’s Mike Wise, Shaq asked him to consider a hypothetical scenario: What would happen if Shaq decided to show up at the White House and asked to see the president? Would his presence alone get him Ok’ed to the oval office or would he strike out? Mike took a guess and said that he would definitely get in. Apparently, this must have given Shaq some confidence since the NBA star had made a bet with one of his handlers and the loser would have to do 1,000 push-ups.
So, being sure he had a fairly good chance of accomplishing the feat, Shaq set it upon himself to follow the bet through next time he was in DC. And he did just that on July 26, 2009.Shaq showed up in front of Obama’s gate and asked the guards to let him in only to get politely but immediately shot down. It seems that not even a man of Steel can get immediate access to the most important man in all of the US.
An Intergalactic Multimillion Dollar Bet
Winning millions without having to actually do anything, not even using the coaxing power of The Force is easy if you are Steven Spielberg. In 1977, George Lucas was working on Star wars: A New Hope, the first installment of the now venerated franchise and he decided to pay Spielberg a visit on the set on his movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
At the time, Lucas was feeling really insecure about his own film and seeing the magnitude of Spielberg’s production, we guess he felt a little intimidated, so he decided to throw a bet that would ended up working against him in regards to the success of the movies. He offered Spielberg a 2.5% of Star Wars profits if the movie did better than Close Encounters with the condition that Spielberg would have to do the same if it was the other way around.
Spielberg decided to take the bet and, although his own movie was also a huge hit, the success of it could never compare to the ever growing phenomenon that Star Wars became. As Spielberg himself said in an interview: “I think I came out on top of that bet … I was the happy beneficiary of a couple of points from that movie which I am still seeing money on today”. And he did not even have to use a Jedi mind trick on Lucas to do it!
One Bet: A New Narrative Style
Within the literary world, there are many narrative forms we are familiar with. Poems, short story, novels, plays are amongst the most used and recognizable literary styles. Interestingly enough, wagering might have helped to create a whole new style of modern narration: Flash Fiction. Also known by the name of micro fiction, this style focuses on short-short stories; stories that try to economize in words in order to have the reader finish the story fast and, if necessary, fill in the gaps to find their own resolution to it.
Although flash fiction has always been a part of human narrative, in the shape of fables and such, an urban literary tale has placed the modern birth of such genre as the result of a bet Hemingway had with his colleagues. He bet them $10 each (a respectable amount of money at that time) that he could write a complete story using less that 10 words. Distrusting Hemingway’s now universally acknowledged reputation as a master economizer of words, his friends decided to take him up on the bet. He grabbed a napkin and wrote: “For sale, baby shoes, never worn”
After his friends read this tiny masterpiece, they had no option but to pay this literary genius his well-deserved money.