1. Media tycoon Robert Maxwell lost $2 million in one minute.
That’s right — Maxwell lost that lump sum in about 60 seconds at the Les Ambassadeurs Club casino in London when he played three games of roulette at the same time.
2. Archie Karas turned $50 into $40 million, but walked away with nada.
Karas did the unthinkable when he drove to Las Vegas in 1992 with only $50 in his pocket and turned it into $40 million by 1995. But it’s also pretty unthinkable that he lost every cent.
3. Nick “The Greek” Dandolos lost $500 million in his lifetime.
“The gentleman of gambling” was a legendary player. He was also quoted as saying he’s gone from “rags to riches” about 73 times.
4. Executive Omar Siddiqui lost $8 million in one day, and $167 million in a decade
Even though he was a successful executive for Fry’s Electronics, Siddiqui’s interest in gambling was too strong to ignore. But despite owing millions in IOUs, casinos continued to lend him money because he was “good for business.” (Which, LOL WUT?) In 2009, it was revealed that the bulk of the funds he acquired for gambling was through money laundering.
5. Chinese-Mexican businessman Zhenli Ye Gon lost $84 million at one casino.
According to court documents, “Mr. Ye” lost $84 million JUST AT the Las Vegas Venetian, but his total losses amounted to $125 million between 2004 and 2007. When police raided his home in March of 2007, they found an astonishing $200 million in cash — just… sitting there.
6. Businessman Terry Watanabe gambled $127 million down the drain.
A year-long binge at the Caesars Palace and Rio casinos in 2007 meant Watanabe parted with most of his personal fortune. The loss is believed to be one of the biggest losing streaks in Vegas history, and the fortune was reportedly amounted to 5.6% of the casinos’s revenue of that year.
7. Businessman Fouad-al-Zayat said goodbye to £500,000 in 15 minutes.
Roulette isn’t for the faint of heart, or faint of pocket, it seems.
8. But few compare to the one and only Kerry Packer.
With a net worth estimated at $6.5 billion (and a nickname like “The King Of Whales”), Kerry Packer is known as history’s most epic gambler. He would routinely spend $150,000 per hand at baccarat, and turn it into $9 million. But his losses were equally incredible: he casually threw down $20 million while at the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas, and $19 million at the Ritz Club. There’s even one story where he offered to flip a coin to decide if he would win or lose $120 million.