Ten years ago, Rory McIlroy's father, Gerry, placed a 500-to-1 bet that his 15-year-old son would win the British Open before the age of 26. On Sunday, Gerry McIlroy's faith in his son paid off – literally – as Rory won the Claret Jug and he cashed in to the tune of $171,000.
With many unknowns - his son being an amateur golfer and just 15 - the bet made by Gerry McIlroy required mostly blind faith in Rory's talent and potential. If you could take the same risk, with relatively similar unknowns, what bet would you make?
One could follow McIlroy's example and place a bet once again on Rory's success. With his British Open win, Rory has three major titles; a U.S. Open win, a PGA Championship and, now, a British Open title. McIlroy is 11 major wins away from Tiger Woods' totla of 14. However, Woods' last major win came in 2008, when he was 34-years-old. Would you bet on McIlroy to surpass Woods in the next 10 years?
Or how about putting some money on a Canadian team winning it all? Since 1993, hockey fans in Canada have been waiting to see a Canadian team hoist the Stanley Cup. The Vancouver Canucks came close to the feat in 2011, but lost to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. The future for many of Canada's teams seems bright. The Montreal Canadiens advanced to the Eastern Conference Final last season and seem primed for another run in 2014-15 and the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers look to have strong 10-year outlooks based on the young talent on their rosters. Would you bet on any one of Canada's seven teams winning the Cup within the next 10 years?
Speaking of Montreal, it's been 10 years since the Expos left town. The prospect of bringing baseball back to Montreal is an oft-talked about concept throughout Canada, though nothing is close to imminent. No stadium is in the works, or team up for sale, yet there is a small possibility a Montreal-based team could take to bat within the next 10 years. Earlier this month, commissioner Bud Selig said Montreal was an "excellent candidate in the future." A long-shot bet, but one many Montrealers may gladly take as they continue to wait and hope for the return of the game.
Like baseball in Montreal, the debate of bringing NFL football to Toronto seems to always be on the minds of Torontonians. Yet, with the passing of Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, the topic has received more attention than ever before. With a Toronto-based group reportedly led by rock star Jon Bon Jovi interested in purchasing the Bills, the city seems to have more hope than ever before. However, the Bills cannot leave Western New York until at least 2020 without incurring a $400 million penalty. There's also no guarantee Bon Jovi's group would move the team north of the border. Certainly many questions and unknowns surround the situation, but would you take the bet that four-down football will be played in Toronto within 10 years, or are the city's hopes simply livin' on a prayer?
Hailing from north of Toronto, Andrew Wiggins appears poised for a strong NBA career. The 19-year-old was selected first overall in this year's NBA Draft and has been touted as the league's "next great player." If he lives up to the hype, Wiggins should join the NBA's elite and join the select company of players to win the league's most valuable player award. Would you bet that Wiggins will live up to the hype and secure an MVP trophy within his first 10 NBA seasons?
Another rising Canadian star that may be worth betting on is Eugenie Bouchard. The 20-year-old from Westmount, Quebec is coming off her first final at a major and has reached the semifinal round at all three majors in 2014. Bouchard currently sits seventh in the world rankings and appears to be ready to rise even further. Could Bouchard win each major tournament and complete a career Grand Slam by the age of 30? Her recent trend of success suggests that bet might be worth taking.
Given the chance to make a bet looking 10 years into the future, do you think you would cash in on any of the above?
Maybe you have your own intriguing long-shot wager that could have you laughing all the way to the bank.
As always, it's Your! Call.