The World Cup: Biggest Bets and Upsets

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Biggest World Cup Bets

While most of us are busy looking at the trading screens I’m sure more than a few of us have also been sneaking a peak at the TV screens to keep up to date with the World Cup. It’s always a fascinating event which seems to capture the imaginations of everyone, regardless of whether they usually follow football or not and usually this includes placing the odd bet. So, read on as we take a look at some of the biggest winning and losing bets in world cup history.

Losing £417k

In the World Cup 2010, one daring gambler hit the headlines by placing the biggest bet in the tournament’s history as he wagered £417,000 that Germany would beat Spain the semi-final, getting odds of 10/11. The match started out on an even keel with the two sides remaining evenly matched over the first half. However, in the 73rd minute of the game Spain managed to find the back of the net. After Germany were then denied a late penalty, the unlucky punter ended up losing his £417,000 stake and missing out on a potential £800,000 windfall.

£100 Into £83k

Once again featuring Germany. This time, in 2014, one happy-go-lucky sports better decided to wager £100 that Germany would beat Argentina in the final. This time the bet paid off, as Mario Gotze scored against the Argentine side in the 114th minute of the game, turning the £100 stake into a whopping £83,000 stake. Skybet, the bookmakers who took the bet, tweeted in response to the win “one punter has well and truly #skybettered us. He placed this fivefold in August and has won over £83,000. Well done!”

Mario Götze

500-1 Odds

The bet mentioned above came only days after another punter also bet on Germany in the World Cup this time taking advantage of 500 – 1 odds for Germany to beat Brazil with a score of 7 – 1. The punter then had his mindblown when his bet came in and he received winnings of £2,505. Alongside this outcome a number of other punters received generous four-figure returns for betting on a 5 – 0 score at half time, which also came in.

german fan

Well there are some of the bets, but… What about the upsets?

Switzerland V Spain 2010

According to data analysis company Gracenote, Switzerland’s 2010 win over Spain, who went on to win the tournament, is the second biggest world cup upset. Heading into the match, Switzerland had just a 10% chance of winning the match and managed to beat the eventual World Cup Holders despite just six shots on goal compared to Spain’s 22.

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Ghana V Czech Republic 2006

In 2006, Ghana pulled off another major upset, the fourth biggest according to Gracenote, when they beat the Czech Republic having held just a 13.9% chance of winning heading into the match. Although they’d already been beaten by Italy, the African nation took the lead after just 70 seconds and went on to win 2-0.


Brazil V Uruguay 1950

Heading back a little further this time. In 1950, the hosts Brazil were leading Uruguay 1-0 in the final and were seemingly on course to a well-deserved victory in front of a roaring crowd of 200,000 fans. However, Uruguay took everyone by surprise when they scored twice in 13 minutes and beat the host nation to lift the World Cup trophy, despite having only had a 14.3% chance of winning.

Spain V Netherlands 2014

In 2014, Spain were trounced by the Netherlands 5-1 which was a massive shock given that Spain had won the previous tournament in 2010 and retained most of the squad in 2014.  After taking the lead in the 27th minute via a penalty, it looked like plain sailing but after Robin Van Persie equalised in the 44th minute, the Spanish team fell apart.

Senegal V France 2002

Another case of the defending champions being upturned. In 2002 Senegal shocked the world by beating France 1-0. France were unable to recover from the defeat and ended up bottom of their group while Senegal went on to make it to the quarter finals before eventually losing to Turkey.

thierry henry

So, if you’re thinking of taking a punt on the football, just remember that upsets do happen and for a tournament that comes around only once every four years, maybe playing it safe isn’t the best option!



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