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Las Vegas in spin as mentalist Meade wins $1m... then hands it back

By Chris Kilpatrick

It was the biggest gamble of his career.

Renowned mentalist David Meade put his skills to the ultimate test in a Las Vegas casino and walked away from the roulette wheel with more than $1,000,000 - but didn't pocket a dime of it.

The extraordinary experiment has yet again left fans scratching their heads in awe of his mind-boggling abilities.

He arrived in Vegas with just 48 hours to make his fortune. In a one-hour special, to be broadcast on BBC One this Monday, David sets out to beat the odds and become the first million dollar mentalist.

David Meade: Million Dollar Bet begins with him exploring the topic of gambling before delving into probability and the statistics around winning and losing.

He talks with people who have been at either end of the spectrum, including one man who lost £38,000.

He began his seemingly impossible journey at Down Royal racecourse and while he admits gambling terminology is alien to him, he was taken aback by the amount of cash changing hands.

He seeks advice from bookies on the race track and makes a trip to a casino to try and find out more about the role of maths when gambling.

David then travels to Cambridge University's mathematics department, where he spends time with an expert to learn about the laws of probability.

Then it's off to the Nevada desert where, before he steps up to the table, David meets the man dubbed the 'Wizard of Odds' to find out more on how various games work and the odds of winning. After some thought, David opts for roulette as his best chance to win a million.

One of Vegas' most famous casinos is chosen and David pulls up a chair alongside seasoned gamblers. His first session ends with a $3,900 loss, but a short time later he's back at the wheel, $500 his opening punt.

His luck has changed and he's up to $5,000 in no time. A highly-aggressive strategy sees him up $60,000 within a few spins, flipping between red and black, and just four spins from the million.

To $120,000, then $240,000. Word spreads around the casino and the crowd around him grows.

Further Reading

High roller David Meade is one in a million after casino challenge

Million dollar man: Mentalist David Meade beats Las Vegas casinos - and hands back $1m 

Another win and then the big one. Black it is, and David cashes out having achieved the miraculous $1,100,000 win. But he left empty-handed, having agreed with casino bosses not to keep it.

The mentalist admitted the pressure was on during the remarkable challenge.

"Viewers know me well enough now to appreciate that I'm not just going to Vegas, taking my chances and leaving my mentalist powers at the door," he said.

"This is an entertainment programme after all, and I'm not some psychic and I don't have some super power.

"But it's still a huge gamble - excuse the pun - for me to put my powers to the test in this environment. I'm in a real Vegas casino, there are no camera tricks."

David Meade: Million Dollar Bet will be shown on BBC One Northern Ireland, Monday, 10.35pm

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