Gambling And The Biggest Bet Ever Made...Part 1...

Discussion in 'Photos' started by Airbornemama, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Airbornemama

    Airbornemama Mama Loves You All Out There!...DA Admin. Staff Member

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    Do you remember the last time you made a bet, or a wager? Maybe you were with some friends at a pub having fun, or perhaps at a casino trying to make some easy money. Or maybe you were online, playing live roulette while watching a movie like I often like to do. Indeed, roulette is the game of choice when playing for high stakes, but it wasn’t always like this. No, not too long ago, you could play a game a lot more dangerous than roulette, and you could wager a lot more than your money. One man in particular bet everything, even his very life, and was forever immortalized in history for it. While chances are you may not have heard his name, he used to be a celebrity during his time and even got a movie about his accomplishments! Sit tight, and I’m going to tell you about the daring wager of Captain Webb.

    Born in 1848, Matthew Webb was one of 12 children in his British household, which was pretty common for his time. When he was 15 years old, he performed his first taste of heroics by rescuing his little brother from drowning. It was precisely that incident which made young Matthew fascinated with swimming and water in general, which prompted him to start working on cargo ships, eventually rising to the rank of Captain. In 1873, he managed to save the life of a fellow sailor who had fallen overboard, which won him an award of £100, as well as his first taste of recognition and fame. Almost addicted to it, two years later Captain Webb decided to double-down on his feats by becoming the first man to swim the English Channel – a feat which, even today, has been performed by less people than have climbed Everest.

    Webb had to swim 21 miles using the breast stroke technique and a few times came very close to drowning, but the encouragement of the sailors around him helped him make it. The feat turned him into an overnight sensation, with companies racing to sign endorsement deals with him. Captain Webb began showing up on everything from posters to match boxes, and many event organizers paid him just to show up, knowing that his presence alone would attract attention. But fame doesn’t last forever, and soon enough, the world had moved on to something more interesting. The endorsement deals dried up, the event appearances ran out, and so did the money.

    Captain Webb was desperate. At this point, he couldn’t just return to his old job as a ship captain – he’d grown quite fond of being the center of attention. He knew that he had to somehow outmatch his previous feat, but how? The answer lied in a bet. If he could swim across the Whirlpool Rapids below Niagara Falls, he was going to win a sponsorship of £12,000, and all of the fame he could ever want. The problem was that, true to their names, the Whirlpool Rapids were full of extremely dangerous whirlpool, and swimming across them was considered suicide. If he failed, Captain Webb was going to pay with his life. And yet he decided he was going to do it anyway.

    On July 24th, 1883, wearing the same swimsuit he wore when crossing the English Channel, the Captain made his first and only attempt at crossing the Whirlpool Rapids. Initially, everything went well… Until a huge wave sent him right into a whirlpool, which sucked him in. His body was found four days later, having been crushed by the water pressure before he could ever drown. One might assume that people would call his death arrogant and unnecessary, but surprisingly, there was a lot of public support for him and his family at the time, with newspapers calling him the Greatest Englishman. He was buried in Niagara, with his brother later erecting a memorial in his home village of Dawley with the inscription “Nothing great is easy”. That memorial is still there, and it, alongside the movie based on his storyand the countless pieces of history with his image, will forever immortalize one of the greatest athletes who ever lived, and also the man who made the highest bet of all time...

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  2. Sowcon

    Sowcon Drawing Blood

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    What !? I learned something
     
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