This story about Larry is documented in the El Paso, TX newpaper where Larry now makes his home. It goes back to when Larry won a $50,000 bet (with Lloyd's of London) that he could set a Masters WR in the pole vault. I guess betting is an accurate way of describing a relationship with an insurance company. In this case Larry and his backers put up almost $4,000 to 'bet' that he could break the record. Turns out he had done the same thing earlier in the year and won $30,000.
Here is Larry's bio from the UTEP Hall of Fame page.
Here's the Masters WR story via the El Paso Times October 16, 1994
Considering that this year's world championships in London paid $60,000 for a win and $100,000 for a WR, Larry was doing very well 23 years ago. Putting those dollars into today's dollars, he may even have exceeded today's payout. According to historic inflation tables, $50,000 in 1994 would now be $82,586 today.
This story makes me fantasize that if we are looking for ways to build spectator interest in the sport, a new approach might be that a meet be held where athletes compete against Lloyds of London putting up money that they can make a certain height, distance or time. In the old days the Aussies had 'professional' athletes running for money, handicapping races, and taking bets in the stands. Sports like pro football draw tremendous followings not only because people like the game, but also because many of them are playing fantasy leagues and betting heavily on point spreads, or in office pools. Larry has shown that he could make a decent living out of the sport way back in 1994. Frankly, I would never get into a card game with Larry.