Approximately two thirds of all adults place some kind of bet within the course of a year, whether buying a lottery ticket, having a flutter on the Grand National or predicting the outcome of a football match. However, every so often somebody emerges victorious, predicting the unexpected to leave the bookmakers thousands, or sometimes even hundreds of thousands, of pounds out of pocket. Here are some of great wins that we heard about.
Having already suffered a stuttering start to the 2015/16 Premier League campaign, the game appeared out of Everton’s reach when Saido Berahino scored just before half-time, before Craig Dawson doubled the lead early on in the second-half to give West Brom Albion a 2 goal cushion with just 35 minutes left to play. Those moments would have been particularly tough for William Hill punter Kyle Jordan, 30, who had placed a six-fold accumulator on Liverpool to Beat Aston Villa, Reading to beat Burnley, Cardiff to beat Charlton, Bury to beat Coventry, Sheffield United to beat Doncaster and West Everton to beat West Brom, with both teams scoring in each game. Five had been played and five had been won, but Everton’s shortcomings appeared likely to have cost the anonymous better a whopping £45,000 on his £5 punt. However, Romelu Lukaku pulled one back soon after Dawson’s goal to offer some hope, before Arouna Koné equalised with 15 minutes still to play. A draw wouldn’t have been enough to save the bet, but another last-gasp goal from Lukaku completed the stunning comeback, providing Mr Jordan with the funds to jet him and his family off to America.
One anonymous Betfair customer must’ve been feeling really lucky when he placed a £49.50 accumulator on 22 matches towards the back end of the 2015/16 season. The 30,303/1 punt offered an astonishing return of £1,500,000 if the mystery punter could hold his nerve throughout. They appeared to be doing just that as game after game went their way. Queens Park Rangers had scored deep into extra-time to keep his luck intact, while Manchester City came from behind to beat West Brom. Yet, with just 15 minutes to go until Barcelona kicked off their La Liga clash against Real Sociedad, a game that the highflying giants would surely win, the 20-something year old seemed to have an epiphany, cashing out for a small portion of the money that he was set to bag. Yet, with Barcelona falling to just their second defeat in 25 matches, the £53,000 that he received was much better than the £0 return that would have resulted had he stuck it out.
Kyle Jordan’s £45,000 is chump change compared to the amounts that some people have won on their football accumulators. Just seven months earlier expecting father Dean Clay, 48, scooped a massive £92,000 on a 14 team bet. The daring better had placed the bet on 13 games to be played on the Saturday back in February 2015. Despite nearly falling to an unfortunate defeat, a 93rd minute Southampton goal made 13 of his 14 predictions correct going into Sunday’s final game. With just West Brom vs Burnley left to play, in which Mr Clay had backed the draw, he later admitted that he was too nervous to sit and watch the game. Instead, he opted to go and play a round of golf until the final whistle was blown. With West Brom falling two goals behind early on, the nervous punter’s luck appeared to be running out. However, much to his delight, The Baggies managed to turn things around before the final whistle. Better yet, Clay originally thought that he had won just £69,000, until those at Coral handed him a cool £92,000, courtesy of a bonus that the bookmakers were running at the time – an unexpected bonus on top of an unexpected bonus.
George Wood, 22, was so confident of his 10-match accumulator paying off that he splashed £17,000 of his prize money on a new Renault Megane a week before the final fixture was played. Having recently been diagnosed with MS, Wood was in need of a boost and Manchester City’s 5-1 victory over Bournemouth gave him just that back in October 2015. The ninth game on his list, Paris Saint-Germain vs Marseille, had ended in victory on October 4, but he would have to wait until October 17 for the Premier League side to confirm his big win. Wood promised to spend his winnings wisely, investing in stocks and setting up a business, as well as taking his son to Disneyland and splashing £1,000 on another accumulator with a potential £200,000 return – we can only assume that he didn’t get quite as lucky the second time round.
An anonymous 33-year-old from Cambridgeshire could quite possibly be the luckiest man alive, after he scooped a massive £170,000 within a week of placing his very first bet. The lucky punter had opened an account with bookmakers William Hill to try and earn some money to put into a savings account for his five month old son, and it didn’t take long for him to ensure that his child will have a decent head start to adult life, after placing just eight bets in total. The punter later admitted that he had no idea that he had won such a large sum of money, only realising when he logged into his account to check the results. It’s probably lucky that he wasn’t following each game, as Leyton Orient came within seconds of blowing it until Dean Cox scored late on.