The Bet is the story of two men, a banker and a lawyer who argue over whether life in prison or capital punishment is the worst punishment.
To settle the bet, the lawyer agrees to go to prison for 15 years. If he can last, he will get 2 million rubles.
During his time in prison, the lawyer learns to despise material goods and to leave prison 5 minutes before 15 years is up and not collect on the bet.
Ironically, the banker has decided to kill the lawyer because he cannot afford to pay the 2 million rubles.
As far as what the lawyer learned while he was a prisoner, he learned a great many things because he spent those years in study. He was able to study foreign languages, music. philosophy, and many other things, because the banker had agreed to provide him with whatever books and other materials he requested. Primarily, it would appear that all the years of study and solitary meditation had taught the lawyer to despise wealth and luxury. He decided to prove this by leaving his confinement just before the fifteen-year term was up.
The Bet is about a young lawyer and banker who agree to settle their differences over a bet. The banker thinks capital punishment is more moral then spending years in jail while the lawyer thinks the opposite. The lawyer agrees to go to prison for fifteen years and collect two million dollars from the banker when he gets out. The lawyer spends his time reading and self-evolving and by the time fifteen years has gone by, he decides not to have the money. The story ends with the lawyer escaping from the prison and not collecting the two million and the banker resuming his life.