Biggest Wins Ever: Sean Connery


Who is the best James Bond? Well, we can surely all agree it’s Scottish rogue Sean Connery. The legendary actor was the first man to portray James Bond on the silver screen and went on to have a stellar career afterwards. But, that’s not the only thing Connery excelled at. Much like his secret-agent alter-ego, Connery also enjoyed a degree of success in the gambling world.

The world of James Bond always features elegant and luxurious casinos, so it seems fitting that the ultimate Bond actor should have some casino success himself. Before Connery found his way to the fame and fortune of Hollywood, he had a very different life. Growing up in a working-class area of Edinburgh, the Scot had to work manual jobs in order to support his family.

He also visited casinos now and again as well and enjoyed a few successes in real-life casinos. Sean and his father even used to go on gambling runs when he was a youth. His enjoyment for gambling was one of the many things that left him perfectly placed to play 007. But enough about Bond, let’s find out about Connery’s wins in the world of casino gambling.

In 1963, he visited a casino in Italy, where he took part in a game of Roulette. Three times Connery bet on the number 17 and wound up with a win of over £10,000. In today’s money, this would equate to around £163,000! Not exactly as great as Mike Ashley’s £1.3 million for a single spin on the same number, but still pretty good for just three spins.

Interestingly, 17 was Connery’s favourite number (as well as Ashley’s), which is most likely what convinced him to persevere with it for 3 spins. Interesting aside, Connery, this time as James Bond, hit the number again in 1971 in the movie Diamonds Are Forever. It’s thought that the most popular number played on Roulette, for a time, was 17. This is likely due, in no small part, to the success of Diamonds Are Forever.

Connery always had the casino bug, from a young age. And, luckily for him, the producers of the James Bond movies were also gambling enthusiasts. In particular, Harry Saltzman and Albert Broccoli were massive high-rollers and loved spending time in casinos. In the ‘60s they were known for frequenting the exclusive Crockfords casino in London. Connery would often join them, and this would help sate his appetite for gambling.

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