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(uptempo music)
- [Narrator] You probably remember this
hilarious moment from When Harry Met Sally.
- Then she tells you her stories, you tell her your stories.
- [Narrator] Well, this ridiculous rom-com scene
is indicative of a real and very serious sport, which,
believe it or not, introduced society to sport betting.
Competitive walking, better know to some
as pedestrianism, started in the 1800s.
Aristocrats at that time had footmen
whose job was to carry messages
from one aristocrat to another.
It was only a matter of time until the aristocrats
started making wagers on whose footman was faster.
Thus, the birth of sport betting as we know it.
(cheering) (dramatic music)
Competitive walking grew into a real sporting event,
and reached its peak in the 1870s and 1880s,
when spectators would show up in
Super Bowl-like masses to see people walk competitively.
They even filled up the original Madison Square Garden.
Wow.
Sometimes races would last up to six days
and the atmosphere was almost festival-like.
Brass bands played, vendors sold pickled eggs,
maybe even some roasted chestnuts.
Yum.
The competitions drew everyone,
from celebrities to politicians, even regular folk.
Champagne, of all things, was
the drink of choice for walkers.
They thought it was a stimulant,
and, as one would, they drank it by the bottle.
And, guess what, it kinda worked.
One guy walked 136 miles in just 34 hours.
Bottoms up.
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Walk 'Til You Drop: The Story Behind Sports Betting

42 Folder Collection
許大善 published on November 15, 2019
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