I heard a news article this morning which I just loved. Ten years ago this ninety year old man, Alec someoneorother, placed a £10 bet with William Hill that he would live to be 100. They gave him odds of 250:1 and sent him on his way. Well, today is is 100th birthday and William Hill owe him £2500. Nice wee birthday pressie, isn't it?
The story is just fantastic on so many levels. Can you imagine being a fly on the wall ten years ago when they decided the odds. 'Well, Alec. The actuaries all agree, you're in all likelihood going to pop your clogs long before 2007 so we'll give you 250:1'. Or did Alec actually try to push the odds up, coughing and spluttering through the exchange knowing full well that he'd only eat low-fat, sugar-free food and walk around the block every day for the next ten years.
The genius of the bet however is in the win-win for Alec. What would he have cared if he'd lost!?