The weird and wonderful world of Vegas is a destination like no other. Filled with wild partying, extravagant hotels, casinos galore and enough neon to brighten up outer space, it’s clear why it’s a world favourite.
But amongst the obvious draws of the world’s entertainment capital lie a number of strange, weird, unbelievable and sometimes true stories, that will leave you amused and maybe even a little shocked.
With stories surrounding urban legends like the megabucks curse and stolen kidneys to conspiracy theories about the extra-terrestrials in Area 51 and the shotgun celebrity marriages of stars like Britney Spears, it’s quite clear that the phrase ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ isn’t 100 per cent true.
With that in mind, here are our top five weird things that have happened in Vegas that obviously didn’t stay there.
For a city whose income and reputation has relied on slot machines for decades this seems strange, but believe it or not the weirdest thing that’s ever happened in Vegas has to be the gambling ban. When Vegas was born in 1905 gambling became part of the landscape, however a law was passed in 1910 which banned any form of gambling. This pushed the practice underground, until 1931 when the law was overturned and the world’s number 1 gambling location began to thrive and became what it is today.
However the state of Nevada doesn’t allow a lottery or the sale of lottery tickets to this very day.
The Black Book
We’ve all heard of a ‘wall of shame’ for those banned from certain establishments, but believe it or not Vegas created its own black book for such a thing – which basically acts as a black list. Originally the book came about due to the influence of organised crime within Vegas and contained the names of those with a ‘notorious or unsavoury reputation’. Your name being present on the books pages would prevent you from owning, managing and even entering a casino in the Nevada state.
Today the book mainly consists of well-known card and slot cheats – which is a list of 66. But once your name is on the list it’s hard to get off; and if you break the law of the book, and enter a casino, you could find yourself in jail for 12 months.
Although it’s not the most cheery of topics, the tale of a tourist getting electrocuted as they crossed the street is actually true.
It turns out that frayed wiring touching the rib of a metal box lid, containing traffic signal wiring, became a hazard during a rainstorm in 2003. When a tourist stepped on an iron plate that covered the box the event occurred.
Later the family sued the companies who had worked on the project to widen Las Vegas Boulevard, which resulted in the fault, with many companies settling out of court and one being cleared of any wrongdoing.
Believe it or not, underneath this city of sin and entertainment is an underground network of tunnels, which houses approximately 1,000 people.
Many people living under here apparently do so after losing everything whilst taking part in the city’s past time of gambling. But what’s even stranger is the collection of people who meet their other halves, hold down day jobs but choose to live in the tunnels just a few feet away from the infamous strip. They even decorate them and adapt to living in the dark.
Whilst we’re on the topic of underground living, a stranger event occurred in 1964. Fearing nuclear war a business man built a 16,500 square foot mansion under Vegas, complete with pool, greenery and luxury finishes.
The Lucky Gambler
There are those who say gambling is stupid, but in 2004 a British gambler took this to a whole new level.
Not content with the risk of spending too much of his holiday money, Ashley Revell sold all his worldly possessions, leaving him with just the shirt on his back. This left him with around $130,000; which he then put on red, all of it.
Luckily this single spin paid off and the gambler walked away with $270,000 – someone up there must really like him.
Have you got any strange Vegas stories?