Gambling Stories

Davide Meade beat the Las Vegas Casinos and handed back $1 million

David Meade

We've all fantasised about what it would be like to win a fortune at the casino, but never do these day dreams entail us handing any of it back again, never mind all of it. Irish mentalist, David Meade however, did just that, beating the Las Vegas Casinos and then handing back $1 million in winnings!

Why give the money back? It was all part of the making of his hour long special TV show entitled "David Meade: Million Dollar Bet" aired by the BBC earlier this year, wherein Meade gambles his career and reputation in taking on a casino challenge that had defeated every other mentalist across the globe ‐ how to beat the odds at the Las Vegas casinos and become a million dollar winner.

But this was no overnight feat, the show which took 18 months to make, saw Meade interviewing other famous mentalists who had taken up the challenge and attempted to beat the casino by winning $1 million and failed. Meade also travelled back and forth to Vegas, both with his film crew and solo, studying the probability and statistics of winning and losing and putting his mental abilities and seemingly mystical skills to the test.

Meade ultimately chose the game of Roulette for the challenge, a game which even the world renowned genius Albert Einstein was never able to devise a method to beat. When it came down to his official attempt, Mead focussed on 50/50 odds and used his own money to bet on black and red as he gambled his way to $1 million dollars using his mental acuity to beat the casino.

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Even after winning on such a huge scale, Meade admits that he has not developed a taste for gambling. Having lost everything in the past on another gamble, he knew the risks and consequences involved if he lost and says that it was the most terrifying thing that he has ever done and a foolhardy risk. He adds that he had convinced everyone he could do it and while he was sure it could be done, at no time was he absolutely certain that he could do it.

Meade believes that it wasn't only money at stake on the Las Vegas Roulette table as he played, but also his entire reputation and career as a motivational speaker for some of the biggest companies in the world. He insists that had he lost, it would have all been over.

The BBC however bet on him and the bet paid off. Meade admits that it was difficult not to want to keep the winnings, he ended up handing over the money to the casino on the completion of the show prompting some to question whether it was all just a big stunt. The more likely explanation for the casino allowing Mead to play and have his show filmed however was on condition that he didn't keep any winnings.

Other critics have noted that many players through history have beaten the casinos at Roulette using wheel bias and visual tracking techniques. However, in modern casinos, these methods are exceptionally difficult if not impossible due to the implementation of metal frets (the dividers) which are placed between numbers on the wheel.

It is believed that Meade did not use Roulette systems to win but rather used his own mental and illusionist powers. Either way, it's an amazing feat and definitely goes down as one of our amazing gambling stories.