Change Your Life Online
It's safe to say that the internet has changed everything. Even ten years ago it was unfathomable that anyone could become a fully-fledged celebrity on the net, but sites like YouTube and Instagram have made stars out of everyday people.
We've looked at some of the different ways that the web has changed people's lives forever; from becoming overnight pop sensations or winning big on online casino. Who knows? Maybe you could be the next big thing on the internet.
The advent of video sites like YouTube have provided a platform for anyone to potentially make it big no matter what their talent. This levelling of the playing field saw one thirtysomething South Korean singer blow up in a big way – far from the soundstages of The X Factor or even Top of the Pops.
When Park Jae-sang released the lead single from his sixth – yes, his sixth – album, it not only shot to the top of the charts in his native South Korea, but opened the doors to worldwide recognition and adoption of his trademark dancing style through unprecedented video views on YouTube.
The single was ‘Gangnam Style'.
Released by the artist better known as Psy, ‘Gangnam Style' – a thinly-veiled pop at the poseurs who frequent the Gangnam area of Seoul – was the first video ever to hit one billion views on YouTube – followed quickly by breaking the two-billion barrier.
Psy has since performed his hit single at concerts and events all over the world, and has even been given an audience by President Obama during an annual Christmas fundraiser on American prime-time TV.
It's been reported that the Gangnam guru made $40 million through sales of his song and subsequent commercial deals.
For those brave souls looking to meet their special someone, the high-pressure, low-promise environment of the online dating app has always posed problems. But against the odds, one of these apps brought a couple together ‘til death do they part.
When online marketer Jenny Shaab ‘swiped right' for the first and only time on the Tinder app, she was only visiting family for the weekend in a different city. The guy she chose, medical student Ben Marder, only used the app himself due to his hectic schedule. But when the two met they discovered they had much more in common.
Ben's parents were great friends with Jenny's late father, who died when she was young, and regaled her with many tales of her dad. For Ben and Jenny it was a sign that their connection went deeper than a simple smartphone app, and two years later they were married.
Love works in mysterious ways – and for this newlywed couple it worked out just fine!
Markus Persson (aka Notch), from Stockholm began his life in the computer games industry from the tender age of seven, when he became an avid programmer using his father's Commodore 128.
At eight he made his very first game, a basic text adventure which, as he recalls, involved fighting ninjas.
In 2009, Persson left his job as a game developer to focus on his own creation, Minecraft, which was released in 2010 - not realising how much this one little web-based game would change his life.
He founded his company, Mojang, with two friends in order to concentrate on the game's development, and turned down many lucrative job offers in order to do so.
Last February, Minecraft reached 100 million users across PC and console, landing Persson with a net worth of $1.5 billion.
In 2014, Persson sold Mojang to Microsoft for $2.5 billion.
During his travels around the world, the Twitchhiker proved that the internet can be an immensely powerful tool in helping a good cause.
With only the clothes on his back and a laptop for communication, Paul Smith set out on a 30-day journey which took him across three continents, ending his journey in New Zealand via Paris, Amsterdam and the States.
The catch was that Paul could not pay for any of those journeys from his own pocket – every lift he received, and every bus, plane and train he boarded had to come courtesy of Twitter followers.
Following a number of heart-stopping moments including an Autobahn drive from hell, and a couple of awkward conversations with Hollywood starlets, Smith arrived home in Gateshead with a passport full of stamps and a heart full of admiration for all the people who had helped him to see the world for next to nothing.
Best of all, Smith raised a tidy sum of money for charity during his voyage!
In 2011, Ladbrokes reported their largest ever online payout for a multiple bet, when over £270,000 was won by an enthusiastic footy expert.
The mystery punter from Berkshire placed just £2.50 on a nine-team accumulator and scooped £272,529.60 – not a bad evening's work!
Accas are notorious for their massive odds of winning, and the crushing defeat that can follow by knowing that just one goal can be the difference between a huge windfall and mammoth disappointment.
So on nine matches over a weekend in January 2011, our brave punter put his money where his mouth was and bet on a couple of very unlikely scenarios alongside some of the more favoured odds. Not only did he have a share of £2.50 on Blackburn Rovers to defeat Liverpool – which they did courtesy of a Benjani brace – but also that relegation-threatened Wolves would at the time see off defending champions Chelsea!
Add to this a late equaliser from Athletic Bilbao to deny Barcelona, and you have all the makings of a huge online betting win.