Famously known as one of the men who “Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo”, Wells went on a phenomenal run in the year 1891, and to this day remains one of the biggest winners ever in gambling history. He became so famous that he had a song written about him a year later.
He started his career as a confidence trickster, claiming to be an inventor. After allegedly defrauding a group of people of around £4,000, he went to Monte Carlo to try his luck at the world-famous casinos. In his eleven hours at Monte Carlo, he won a total of 23 roulette spins of the 30 he played and won around one million Francs.
Nobody ever worked out whether he had developed a system to calculate precisely where a ball would land, and authorities spent years trying to work out how he did it, to no avail. Until his death, he maintained it was simply a lucky streak with no trickery involved. Others hypothesised that he used a pendulum-like contraption to attempt to calculate where the ball would fall. Famously, more people would break the bank at Monte Carlo and in Las Vegas, after discovering fatal flaws in some of the roulette wheels.