LearnGermanwith Us!

Start Learning!

German Language Blog

Wetten, dass … ? Posted by on Feb 27, 2011 in Culture, Current Events, People, Traditions

Wetten, dass …. ? is one of Germany’s most popular entertainment show, which is broadcasted six times a year from different locations in Germany, and sometimes also from Switzerland and Austria. It attracts about 10 million viewers.

Wetten, dass … ? was first broadcasted in 1981. Frank Elstner, who developed the show, had also presented it between 1981 and 1987. Since 1987 Thomas Gottschalk has been the host of the show.

Frank Elstner’s idea was that a contestant bets that he is able to do something special or quirky and a celebrity bets if the contestant will whether be able to complete it or not. In the case that the celebrities are wrong with their bets, they are making wagers.

The wagers have changed over time. For example, in the beginning charitable acts like fundraising or visiting fatally ill people were favored acts. Nowadays, there are only trivial interludes to entertain the audience. In rare cases there are even no wagers. The host opens every bet with the phrase: Top. Die Wette gilt!

Unfortunately, there happened a serious accident in the last show. A 23-year-old drama student and stuntman, by the name of Samuel Koch, bet that he could jump lengthwise over a driving car wearing jumping stilts.

At his fourth or fifth jump he landed face down on the ground and sustained serious spine injuries. Because of that the show was abandoned for the first time. Koch was immediately taken to hospital where he was put into medically induced coma for surgery.

I was watching the show that night and I could not believe my eyes. I was shocked to see him motionless lying on the floor. Samuel Koch is now paralyzed and he will probably always be. All people of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland feel for him and wish him a full recovery. Host, Thomas Gottschalk, announced that he would no longer present the show.

Although this was a very sad incident, I chose some interesting and funny bets for you to watch. Enjoy.

Top. Die Wette gilt.


Bet Drilling

These two young men bet that they are able to eyeball heights in order to drill a hole in a post at the same height from two sides.



Bet Cacti

This guy bets that he can spot 4 out of 5 cacti with his tongue.



Bet Bottle Caps

This man bets that he can flip 15 bottle caps into beer mugs with his ear in two minutes.



Bet Light Bulb

This guy bets that he can screw in three light bulbs with his feet, while doing a handstand.




Tags: , ,
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author:Sandra Rösner

Hello everybody! I studied English and American Studies, Communication Science, and Political Science at the University of Greifswald. Since I have been learning English as a second language myself for almost 20 years now I know how difficult it is to learn a language other than your native one. Thus, I am always willing to keep my explanations about German grammar comprehensible and short. Further, I am inclined to encourage you to speak German in every situation. Regards, Sandra


  1. Michaela Twitchell:

    great work, love your look, suits the page well 🙂