Man Won’t Have To Pay $517k Over A Rock-Paper-Scissors Bet

A Canadian man who lost $517,000 in a best-of-three game of “rock, paper, scissors” doesn’t have to pay up, a judge ruled. Edmund Mark Hooper lost the hefty wager in January 2011 and was forced to take out a mortgage on his home to pay off the debt. A court invalidated the mortgage in a 2017 decision, finding that the amount wagered during the game was excessive. Quebec law also stipulates that a wagering contract is only valid if related to activities “requiring only skill or bodily exertion on the part of the parties,” and not chance. The game’s winner, Michel Primeau, appealed, which was upheld in an April 17th ruling, leaving Hooper in the clear. The court concluded that while the game takes a certain amount of skill, “it seems evident… that the game also involves a large part of chance, so that it does not take ‘only skill or bodily exertion on the part of the parties.’” It also found that the $517,000 bet was excessive.