It is not just the average joe who likes a punt every now and then. Some of the biggest celebrities in the world have wagered their showbiz earnings on some of the sports biggest events over the years. Many have amassed eyewatering amounts in winnings, stacking money on top of their sports, Hollywood, and music earnings. Let’s take a further look at celebs who have splashed the cash and tried to come out on top while betting.
Aside from selling millions of records all over the world as one of the biggest rap artists on the planet, 50 Cent has also made a fair penny on sports betting. The New York-born rapper famously won $500k when he backed the New York Giants to make it to Super Bowl XLVI back in 2012.
Kutcher could have taken a leaf out of the ‘In Da Club’ rapper’s book when making the same bet, with the Giants not considered to be in the hat of names expected to reach that year’s game. The New Jersey-based franchise were outsiders to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy that year, with odds of 20/1 following the culmination of the previous season’s closer. Regardless, 50 made the bet, and to say it paid off would be an understatement.
As a long-time frenemy of 50 Cent, you’d be forgiven for thinking Floyd was competing with him to see who can amass the most winnings. The unbeaten boxer, considered by some to be the greatest of all time, has a well-documented history with sports betting. Most recently, he backed Dustin Poirier to beat his former rival and one-time opponent Conor McGregor at UFC 264, collecting over $85,000 after the Irishman was stopped in the first round.
The fifteen-time major world champion has also netted hundreds of thousands of dollars on the NFL and an incredible $800,000 on boxing when he backed Gennady Golovkin, proving further why he’s earned his nickname of Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.
It was the perfect cover; a “dumb actor with a lot of money”. Whilst still an actor, Ashton Kutcher used his dumb-jock persona to catch the bookmakers by surprise. The former Two and a Half Men star told Esquire magazine, “I actually used to be a front for the largest national sports-betting syndicate in America. In football, you’re basically looking for numerical anomalies. It’s really complicated. You gotta know a lot of data points – how this team played on various surfaces, in different weather – a lot. But these guys could do it.”
“So, generally these types of individuals aren’t allowed to gamble, but they know how to handicap the house. So they sent me in. I basically just placed the bet… (I did it for) one season. Well, half a season… We were clearing, like, $750,000 in four weeks of college football. It was pretty fun. Then they caught on. The hypothesis had been that the house would just assume that I was a dumb actor with a lot of money who liked football.”
The phrase ‘Everybody wants to be like Mike’ was referring to his breath-taking skills on the court but take a look at his bank account and you’ll see millions of reasons more. As if a glittering basketball career didn’t earn him enough, his deals with Nike are worth over a billion dollars and he is famously partial to raking in the cash whilst betting on golf.
One of the most famous instances is when Mike bet $300,000 on a hole with a long-time friend and fellow ball player Charles Barkley along with other players.
Shaq is yet another Basketball player with a multitude of brand deals and investments that rival his earnings during his playing career. He has minority and majority stakes in several companies that have netted him millions in earnings, but he probably never earned a million as quickly as he did recently.
The former LA Lakers Center recently revealed to Jimmy Kimmel that he won $1m on an MMA fight. With Jordan, Shaq and Barkley all having more than just flutter on sports betting, it seems there must be something in the water in the NBA!