Whether it’s spinning slot machines, winning blackjack tables, or playing poker games, there’s no question that many famous musicians love to gamble. After all, they’re just humans, and humans generally seem to like the thrill of gambling: according to the American Gaming Association, four of his 10 adults visited a casino in 2019.
But some of our most famous musicians love to gamble, while others just play the lottery. This is not what you would expect from a successful millionaire. Wouldn’t the lottery be that exciting and wealthy musicians need the money? Well, let’s dig a little deeper as we show you 10 famous musicians who are or have been gambling of some sort.
The legendary Queen of Pop, Madonna, is said to have won second prize at SuperEnaLotto in 2012. During her tour of the World that year, she bought 100 raffle tickets and won a prize of €120,000 (approximately $130,000).
All her profits were used to build a school in the African country of Malawi, from which she adopted four children. Italy is the country where she was born with her paternal grandparents, so Madonna is said to regularly play the Italian lottery, SuperEnaLotto. Since tickets are not sold in the United States, she has to enter the lottery online and have a courier service purchase and ship the tickets on her behalf.
Motorhead’s Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister
“Ace of Spades” is a hit for British rock band Motörhead, so we’ve always had the group’s relationship with gambling in mind. Lead singer and bassist Lemmy Kilmister explains that writing songs is a verbal exercise to play with all the clichés one expects.
Unfortunately, Lemmy passed away in 2015, but his “premature death” lifestyle included a passion for slots. His nickname “Remy” is rumored to come from the phrase “Lend me some money”, where “Lend me” is pronounced “Remy.” In 2016, with the group’s approval, NetEnt released the exclusive Motorhead slot, further cementing the link between rock groups and gambling.
Recognized as one of the most influential hip hop artists of all time, Jay Z needs little introduction. With 125 million records sold, he is on the list of best-selling music artists. A performance worthy of 24 Grammy Awards. When it comes to gambling, Jay Z describes himself as a pro, who always checks the gambling sites legal status, with poker and blackjack being his favorite games. He reportedly single-handedly lost his $500,000 playing poker in Las Vegas.
Rapper and Grammy Award-winning Cornell Iral Haynes Jr, better known as Nelly, is also a high-stakes gambler. However, he is less interested in gambling and prefers to play Texas Hold’em Poker.
He has played in many major tournaments such as the World Series of Poker, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, and PokerStars European Poker Tour. Nelly also reportedly enjoys playing online poker.
In 2020, he participated in a poker match at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut and freaked out after his opponent told him to go “out of his mind.”
If there’s one song that comes to mind when you hear Lady Gaga, it’s her 2008-2009 radio hit “Poker Face.” The song isn’t about poker per se, but it does mention the card game. It could be due to Gaga’s love of poker.
According to multiple sources, she has been spotted at a Las Vegas casino and reportedly claims she likes playing poker to have fun. Enjoy the game, not win or lose.
Curtis James Jackson, also known as 50 Cent, has been in the spotlight many times, not only for his rap career and entrepreneurial spirit but also for filing for bankruptcy in 2015.
The rapper is also known for his huge sports bets, including a $500,000 bet on the New York Giants vs. the San Francisco 49ers in the 2012 NFC Championship. Not to mention his $1.6 million bet in the UFC in 2015. He was betting that Floyd Mayweather would beat Manny Pacquiao.
Betting aside, reports say 50 Cent loves blackjack, which may be one of the reasons he started his game of blackjack on his Facebook in 2015. Which was known as “50 Cent Blackjack.”
In early 2016, the rapper joked that he nearly won the US Powerball jackpot by matching three out of five numbers. We don’t know if he regularly participates in the lottery, but he shared the ticket on Instagram and confirmed that he did, at least this time.
Although he died in 1998, Frank Sinatra is a name most of us have heard of thanks to his huge worldwide success, including 150 million records sold and acting in over 50 movies. Unknown to a lot of people, Sinatra had bonded with the mafia and reportedly loved to gamble.
Like many before him, his love started in Las Vegas which Sinatra moved to in the 1950s. The man was somewhat of a hothead, and according to some sources, this was well-reflected at the Sands Hotel and Casino in 1967. After losing $500,000, he allegedly stole a golf car and drove it through the glass doors of the casino, and also tried to set curtains on fire.
Not only did Sinatra have a passion for gambling, but in 1960 he bought his own casino known as the Cal Neva Lodge & Casino.