101. Gates’ Fly Gambit

01 May

At $1000 per fly they were more valuable than their weight in gold.

Rich industrialist and known gambler John “Bet-a-Million” Gates was well-known for an attachment to money, and also for betting on a great many things. One favourite bet of his was dependent upon apparently pure chance, and flies.

One day whilst lunching with the rather rich John Drake, whose family had founded Drake University, he proposed said bet.

He got his bread, and dunked it into his coffee then placed it on his saucer, then bid John Drake to do the same. So there were two identical coffee soaked pieces of bread. Then John Gates opened the bet, saying, “The piece that attracts the most flies wins. Shall we say $1,000 per fly?” It was agreed.

And so began this game of apparent chance. The odds balanced perfectly between, a true gamble.

John Drake lost $11,000.

John Gates couldn’t lose his grin. It had happened again, this bet of his was simple, he always won and it made him a great deal of money, but how?

It was a simple matter really, his opponents never noticed but whenever he made this bet he never actually tasted his coffee afterwards; because it was horrible. He put in six spoonfuls of sugar.

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Posted by on May 1, 2011 in Trivia


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