While it’s a known fact that most people will not get rich by gambling, seeing how the odds are always against you, there are some exceptions that prove the rule. There are few casino games in which players can actually gain an advantage over the house, such as blackjack where you can count cards, but some smart or lucky people managed to beat the odds and became millionaire playing bets.

We’ll start our list with the man who invented and perfected the card counting strategy – Edward E. Thorp. Thorp was a mathematics professor from 1959 to 1977 and wrote the blackjack card counting bible titled “Beat the Dealer”. He tested his theory in various casinos in Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Las Vegas, starting with $10,000 from professional gambler Manny Kimmel.

With his theory already proven, Thorp decided to use his acquired knowledge in the stock market and ended up making a fortune, as his net worth is estimated at no less than $800 million.

The man who won the most from gambling is Bill Benter, a mathematics genius from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who learnt how to count cards at blackjack and started his gambling career in 1977 in Las Vegas. Seven years later, he got banned from most Las Vegas casinos because he was constantly breaking the bank and decided to move to Hong Kong and focus on horse races. Together with Alan Woods, he developed the world’s first software for horse races betting. His net worth is estimated at $100 million annually.  

And since we’re talking about Alan Woods, it has to be mentioned that he was the pioneer of horse races betting, and although he also started his gambling career at poker machines, where he was mostly losing, and blackjack tables, he later paired with Bill Benter and Zeljko Ranogajec and shifted his focus to Hong Kong horse races.  He is considered one of the most influential gamblers of all time, having developed a betting software that took into consideration various factors in a race, like track condition, weather, and more. Woods died in 2008 and at the time his estimated net worth was AU$670 million.

Billy Walters is another well-known figure in gambling, being one of the people who got rich from roulette and sports betting. He runs his own bookmaking service in Vegas, but few know that he wasn’t always a lucky winner. In fact, he lost everything to his name over 15 times in his youth, and he began his winning streak in his late 30s. It seems that he now makes about $15 million a year, with a net worth of $200 million.

Besides professional gamblers, there are also people who became rich overnight from gambling, without even being avid players. A woman called Patricia Demauro, for instance, gambled only twice in her entire life and she struck luck at Borgata in Atlantic City when she made a whopping 154 consecutive wins at rolling dices. It’s not known how much she won, but she said she only spent $10.

There are a lot of unique places in the world that deserve to be praised and treated like treasure. The seven ancient wonders unveiled by the Greeks are definitely among them and anyone interested in history and culture should go see them, but a series of new wonders have been uncovered recently and they are equally as amazing.

Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal, a huge white-marble mausoleum built in Agra between 1631 and 1648, is an impressive architectural accomplishment of the Mughal empire. It was commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in order to serve as tomb for the remains of his favourite wife, and it took 16 years to be finished.

The building is unique because it includes some truly remarkable architectural innovations and faithfully reflects the Mughal architectural style, focused on balance and symmetry.

The pyramids of Sudan

This might be a surprise for some, but Sudan has more than twice as many pyramids as there are in Egypt, most of them in the eastern city of Meroe on the river Nile and marking the tombs of royalty of the Kingdom of Kush, rulers of Nubia for a long time.

There are actually over 200 pyramids, most dating from 300 B.C. to A.D. 350. They are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a lot of travel agencies now offer trips to Sudan that include a visit to the pyramids privately guided, six-day trips where you can visits the pyramids.

Machu Picchu

Discovered in 1911, this pre-Columbian Incan citadel was built in the mid-1400s and is believed to have been a sacred archaeological center for the Incan capital of Cusco or a royal retreat for emperor Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui.

Tourists can get to the settlement located on the eastern slope of the Andes Mountains,only by foot, train or helicopter. What’s amazing about this site is the fact that its walls and terraces are integrated into the rock.

Colombia’s Lost City

Although less famous than Machu Picchu, La Ciudad Perdida de Colombia is 1,000 years and is an archaeological site located in Sierra Nevada. Discovered only in 1972, the place is believed to have been founded about 800 CE, which means it’s some 650 years older than Machu Picchu. It is also believed that the city was abandoned during the Spanish conquest.

Great Wall of China

Situated in Northern China, the Great Wall is an ancient series of walls and fortifications made of stone, brick, wood, and earth, with a length of over 13000 miles. It’s the world’s longest manmade structure and was built as a protection measure across the historical northern borders of China in order to protect the Chinese Empire from invading Mongols.

A popular myth about the Great Wall of China claims that it is visible from the moon, and though this statement was debunked on numerous occasions, it’s still ingrained in popular culture.  

Lion’s Rock in Sri Lanka

This amazing site is an ancient lion-shaped rock fortress that resembles a giant piece of sculpture. It’s recognized as a World Heritage Site and dates back to the late 400s. With an elaborate and imaginative site plan, the place was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.

Portugal’s Roman Mansions

Built in the 2nd century BCE, the Roman ruins of Conimbriga in Portugal have been overlooked for a long time but have now started gaining popularity among tourists.