Friday Hypothetical: The Punch Bet

I’ve sort of road tested this one on Tim Rogers, my direct supervisor, as well as former Spirit editor Eric Celeste, so it’s not just me typing until I get bored then salvaging a terrible question from the wreckage.

For seemingly no reason, I punch you in the face. Hard enough where you have a really decent shiner for a few weeks, but not to the point where I do any structural damage. In a month, you will be right as rain, but may still flinch occasionally if you are around me and I make a sudden move. (By the way, I make a lot of sudden moves. I mean in real life. I am physically decisive.) Anyway, after this random assault, I explain to you that the punch just won me a bet, and the payout is $100,000.

How much of that money do you demand from me? (Tim had the exact same answer, and general reasoning, as Eric. Just so you know.)


  • Firsttimelongtime

    I would expect at least a 60% payout. Since I’m the one subjected to the pain and suffering, I should at least get a majority of the payout. That being said, I would hope you are somewhat of a wuss.

    • @Firsttimelongtime: Fair enough. I would say there are worse people you could be punched by. But it’s still not going to feel awesome.

  • RAB

    When you say “I explain to you,” do you mean you’ll be signaling with eyelid blinks from your hospital bed?

    • @RAB: I can’t hit very hard, but my skull is like a piece of granite. So I’m assuming you’d be aiming lower.

  • D

    I think 60% is about right. Plus any medical bills incurred. There are variables. Is this a full on shot to the nose or at the side of the face? I would split it 50-50 with you but I would have to be able to hit you back.

  • Former texan

    I’d say you are entitled to 20 bucks, I’m entitled to the rest. All you did was punch someone. That’s not worth more than 20 bucks on a bet.

    Unless you punched an MMA fighter or other dangerous athlete (golfers don’t count), then your take could be as high as 5,000, depending on their ranking on the “could beat your ass with one hand” scale.

    • @Former texan: I also took the chance of hurting our friendship. WHICH CLEARLY DID NOT EXIST.

  • Firsttimelongtime

    I discussed the hypothetical with my wife. For some odd reason, she seems perfectly okay with me accepting 20%???

  • RAB

    Your skull might be like granite, but my fist is like Thor’s hammer. There would be a dent in your skull deep enough to hold your iPhone and a balled-up gym sock.

  • 60%. Or, 50% and I kick you square in the nuts for reciprocal pain and suffering.

  • Craigt

    If the payout is $100,000 and you had assaulted me in public in front of witnesses it would be up to you to determine how much it was worth not to have an assault charge on your record.

  • publicnewssense

    I beat you until you piss blood and I take all the money. If I think you are even thinking about hitting me a gain, I hunt you down and fix it so you when you blink your new fake testicles fall to your ankles and roll out onto the floor. But, then, I’m generally a pretty kind guy.

  • Brandon

    $99K and you’ll be lucky to get your $1K. If you don’t pay I will be able to sue you for more AND you will have a criminal record. You have very little bargaining power at this point.

    • Seriously, so much fun.

      Anyway, here’s my answer, while you guys work out your rage issues and figure out court proceedings: If my friend was to punch me in the face, for no reason, then immediately explained that it was for a $100,000 bet, I would take $10,000. That’s right. $10k. (If it were for $50 or $500, expect a different result.) Why? I wouldn’t expect anyone to reasonably pass up that amount of money. $100,000? You would be a fool to NOT punch me for that much. And I’m getting $10,000 for doing nothing more than getting a black eye, probably a headache. I’ve been punched for free. A lot. By friends, enemies, and strangers.

  • amanda

    The whole enchilada.

  • meddling moderate

    Since we’re dealing in hypotheticals here:

    What if the person you seemingly punched for no reason happened to be a latent psychopath that your explanation of the $100k bet stirred?

    Your victim suddenly becomes vindicator when he/she explains to you that they want not one cent of your winnings, but only to exact an extremely harsh surprise retribution for your act over the next year or so. The tone and manner of this person gives you no doubt that this is a very serious threat from a seriously deranged person.

    How are you feeling about that $100k in winnings now?

    • Does anyone have a favorite internet poll software? I need to set something up to see which one of these comments sucked the most life out of me.

  • At most, Zac should only owe 50 percent. Yes, taking the punch would be the brunt of the physical labor. But without Zac’s willingness to extend his fist, there would be no capital to split in the first place. Plus, 50 Gs can heal most wounded egos.

  • Daniel

    What if I demanded the entire purse or else I hunt you like a jackal and slay you in cold blood? You’d probably say sod off but then live out your years as a hunted, hollow-eyed beast is what. Of course, you could punch my eye-socket super hard, then bleat out real quick, “YOU have just won sixty THOUSAND dollars!” That might be your best bet. Nobody likes physical pain but everybody likes money is what this exercise has taught us.

  • JB

    I should get 60% because I’m being subjected to the most risk and humiliation, however you do deserve a finders fee for accessing some idiot that would pay %100,000 for such a thing. So I guess 50-50 is fair.

  • Emporer of Lox and Bagels

    I would take your weed and call it even. But it better be kind. If is schwag I’d kick your ass.

  • Emporer of Lox and Bagels

    I’ll give you some of poll, Crain. Do you hear me Crain? Crain!? Craaaaaaaaaaaaain!

  • Borborygmus

    I’d make you give it all to charity. Because criminal assault should not pay.

  • Borborygmus

    Charity, of course being the name of a horse in the 3rd race at Aquaduct.

  • Art

    I get 100%, you get a waiver from me on a charge of assault and battery. Also, I refrain from sneaking up on you sometime in the future and beating the crap out of you.

  • Bunch of tough guys.