"Tails," Mickey Rourke, Palin 2012 & Other Things You Can Bet On


It's easy to find a place online where you can place a bet on the Steelers, who are favored by 7 points in Sunday's big game. The final outcome is only one of the things you can bet on, though. Almost every other event that takes place during the game will have some effect on the outcome of one of the many ridiculous Super Bowl prop bets; any time the ball moves or the whistle blows, someone probably wins or loses money. Let's take a look at some of the wagers you can make if you're desperate for action this Sunday, as well as a few non-football bets.

1. The Coin Flip

Betting on the Super Bowl is great and all, but you have to wait several hours for the game to finish. Sometimes you need action a bit faster than that. To help quench the public's insatiable thirst for gambling, many sportsbook sites take wagers on the game's opening coin flip. For a mere $105 bet, you can win $100 if you pick the right side of the coin. And as a possible side effect, your high school stats teacher's head will probably explode the moment you make the bet!

2. The Team to Get the First Penalty

That little yellow flag could mean big green for you if you bet on which team is penalized first. It's tough to pick a winner here since the two teams were actually pretty close in number of penalties this season. The Cardinals were 8th in the NFL with 98 penalties, while the Steelers came in 12th with 91. In the playoffs the Cards have had 19 while the Steelers have had 14, but it's such a small sample size that you probably don't want to bet your house on either squad. If this wager isn't specific enough for you, though, you can make bets on which team has the first pass interference or holding called against it.

3. Team to Use a Challenge First

Whether or not you support the use of instant replay, you can make a bit of cash the first time the red flag flies out. This wager would be far more exciting if the Eagles had actually made the Super Bowl, as some industrious sportsbook would offer a line on "Coach to Make the First Successful Challenge," and offer 5,000-to-1 odds on Andy Reid.

4. Receiving Yards

The truly prop-crazy can bet on his favorite player's receiving yards in the game. Bettors can pick how many yards they think a player will rack up during the game, bet over/unders on how long the player's first catch will be, and lay cash on whether or not the player will score a touchdown in the game.

If that's not enough for you, though, and you really enjoy numbers, you can also bet on whether or not a player's receiving yardage total will be an odd or even number. BetUS and other sportsbooks will allow the truly degenerate among us to pick odds or evens, then back their position with cash. You may roll your eyes now, but the joke will be on you when I've spent four days poring over spreadsheets to discern whether or not Early Doucet is really a threat to go odd this game.

Maybe you didn't get the Early Doucet reference, and football isn't your thing. But that doesn't mean you can't have your friends awkwardly stage a gambling intervention for you. There are a number of other betting opportunities available to you even if you've never watched a sporting event in your life.

5. The Grammys

BetUS.com is currently booking bets on who will win Record of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year at the 2009 Grammy Awards. Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" is the early favorite for Record of the Year; its money line is currently +110, meaning that a $100 bet would win the bettor $110. Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III and Coldplay's Viva La Vida or Death & All His Friends are both +165 in the Album of the Year race, and the title track of Coldplay's record is the favorite in the running for Song of the Year.

6. The Oscars

If you're not up with the Grammy races, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences threw out its Oscar nominations last week, and the lines are already up at sportsbook.com. In the early going, Slumdog Millionaire is a -300 favorite, meaning that to win $100, a bettor would have to put up a $300 bet. Mickey Rourke's lauded performance in The Wrestler is a -150 favorite to win Best Actor honors, while Kate Winslet's turn in The Reader is a -125 favorite in the Best Actress betting.

7. American Idol

You may not know exactly who's going to win this season's singing reality show, but do you at least have a hunch what gender they'll be? If so, pull out your credit card, because it's not too tough to book a bet on whether the winner will be male or female.

8. The Tour de France

The Tour de France doesn't start until summer, but you can already bet on the outcome. BetUS has 2007 champ Alberto Contador going off at +120, but fresh-out-of-retirement Lance Armstrong is no long shot himself at +250.

9. The 2012 Presidential Election

President Obama may only have been in office for a week, but speculation is already running rampant about who will run against him in the 2012 race. Sportsbook.com is offering wagers on who will win the White House in just under four years, and of course Obama's the heavy favorite at -125. The candidate with the next-best odds? Sarah Palin at +1000.

A Palin presidency may seem a bit far-fetched to some, but if you're willing to entrust an online sportsbook with your money for almost four years, you're probably willing to take some leaps of faith.

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

11 Thoughtful Gifts For Word Lovers

iStock.com/Jelena Danilovic
iStock.com/Jelena Danilovic

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

It’s easy to spot the logophiles in your life: They’re the people who are addicted to word games, have full libraries at home, or who are always quick to provide you with the word that’s on the tip of your tongue. This holiday season, indulge your loved one’s passion for words with a gift they’ll appreciate.

1. Book Couch; $25

Gifts for Readers & Writers Store/Amazon

The better the book, the more exhausting it is to hold up. Give a rabid reader’s tired arms a rest with the Book Couch, a plush lap rest that props up books, e-readers, and tablets so they can gorge on words with minimal effort. It’s available in blue, grey, red, diner booth, and hot lips.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Moleskine’s Book Journal


The new year is a great opportunity to start a book journal. This one from Moleskine is specifically designed for documenting someone’s reading history, with sections for recording general information about the title as well as jotting down impressions and memorable quotes. Like other Moleskine products, this notebook comes with useful features like ribbon bookmarks and an expandable inner pocket.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Shakespearean Insults Chart; $25

Uncommon Goods

Give this chart to someone you know and instantly add color to their insult arsenal. The poster not only list dozens of scathing jabs from the works of Shakespeare, but it also breaks them down into categories like “body qualities” and “personal attributes” and subcategories like “knaves” and “dunghills.” The chart measures 24 by 18 inches and comes with a magnetic birch frame for an extra $30.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

4. KenzaPad; $60

Scott MacMillan, Kickstarter

Smartphones are convenient for taking notes on the go, but it’s hard to beat the tactile sensation of jotting down a thought with a pen and paper. The KenzaPad combines the best elements from both mediums into one handy tool. The pad looks and acts like a wallet on the outside, with pockets for holding keys, cards, and pens. Flip open the magnetic seal and it transforms into a notepad you can hold with one hand and write in with the other. And no thicker than a smartphone, the KenzaPad neatly slips into a purse or pocket.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Book Darts; $9


Book darts give book lovers ultimate control over their reading experience. Instead of putting down a book mid-paragraph, or rushing to the next page before adding a bookmark, these tools let readers save their place down to the line. With 50 metal tabs per package, they’re also a great, reusable alternative to highlighters or sticky notes.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Flexilight Xtra Booklight; $9


Got a young reader to buy for? Grab one of the Flexilight Xtra booklights. Unlike most booklights, this LED-powered light is flexible enough to conform to most any book and comes in fun designs like penguins, dogs, and owls for kid word buffs. It’s also thin enough to double as a bookmark.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Novel Teas; $14

Bag Ladies Tea/Amazon

Few things go better together than a good book and a cup of tea. Now readers can elevate their cozy book appointments with Novel Teas, a set of 25 individually-wrapped teabags that each have literary quotes on them. The product also has one of the great slogans in advertising history: “Read ‘em and steep.”

Buy it: Amazon

8. William Shakespeare Engraved Inspirational Quote Pen; $20


Keep the wisdom of the Bard close at hand with this engraved pen sporting the classic Shakespeare line: “To thine own self be true.” The ballpoint pen is compatible with G2 ink refills.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Other-Wordly; $13

Chronicle Books/Amazon

Take a trip through an assortment of arcane and delightful words in this sumptuous book by Yee-Lum Mak and illustrator Kelsey Garrity-Riley. Discover words in multiple languages that express all things beautiful.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Retro Series Scrabble; $20


Scrabble has been updated several times since its debut, but the original edition remains a classic. This Retro Series-edition of Scrabble is the same version of the game that appeared on shelves in 1949, complete with vintage wood tiles and racks. Whether or not the players stick to words that were dictionary-official 70 years ago is up to them.

Buy it: at Amazon

11. Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers; $14

Clarkson Potter/Amazon

No true word lover can resist a good pun. Punderdome makes a game out of wordplay, tasking players with taking two prompts from the deck and making one terrific (i.e. awful) pun out of them. You can even play virtually for socially-distanced game nights.

Buy it: Amazon

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!