We’ve all seen those long odds in the bookies and thought “What if?”. What if I just placed a quid or two on Panama to win the World Cup this year? Anything can happen, right? Usually not, but here are some massive huge long-shots that paid off for the punters resulting in huge payouts from casinos and bookies.
Dream Xabi Alonso Goal Nets Fan £25,000
Way back in the year 2005, Adrian Hayward placed the most speculative of bets you may have never heard of. After dreaming that Liverpool’s Xabi Alonso scored a goal from his own half, Adrian walked into the bookies and placed £200 on Alonso doing exactly that before the end of the 2006 season. Paddy Power gave him odds of 125-1.
That year, Liverpool drew Luton Town away in the FA Cup 3rd round. The game was surprisingly eventful and Luton gave their all. The visitors were 3-4 ahead going into added time and Luton pushed everyone, including their keeper, up for the corner. After bouncing around, the ball fell to Xabi who took one touch before making Adrian’s dream come true.
Quick Accumulator Lands Rangers Fan £50,000
Alan Thomson can consider himself a lucky guy after rushing to get his slip in at bookies, Betfred in Lanarkshire. With not enough time to study form, he chose 15 random games and took guess whether the game would end with an even or odd number of goals.
What he was in a rush for is still as a mystery, as he revealed that he was taking a nap when the 3 pm games came to a close. He casually checked the results on his phone and for his £2.50 bet made himself £50,000 richer.
Mike Gibbs: The Accumulator Legend
Staffordshire’s Mike Gibbs has gained the reputation for being the unofficial king of accumulators. He did this by winning big twice with his long-shot accumulators. His first was a huge £157,000 return on a £2.50 bet placed in 1999 when he predicted that Man Utd would come-back and win that famous Champions League thriller, alongside 8 more European league games.
Just two years later he put a miserly 30p on Bayern to win the same cup, whilst opting for Man Utd, Fulham, Millwall, Brighton, Rushden and Diamonds, Livingston, Patrick Thistle and Hamilton all to win their respective leagues. It paid out a massive £500,000 and earned ‘Mystic’ Mike Gibbs a job as a betting pundit.
Fed Up Mum Wins Over Half a Million on £1 bet
Just before Christmas, an unnamed housewife from Sheppey was the lucky recipient of good tidings, when her 12 picks in random league games made for, what was probably, a pretty decent festive period. She picked the teams purely by which she liked the sound of as her son read out the fixtures. Despite most of the teams being heavy underdogs, the £1 bet was placed.
The husband had been playing accumulators for the last 40 years, but never won big. His wife, however, who started 6 years ago as she was fed up with having to watch and listen to football all weekend, didn’t need as long. A massive return of £574,278.41 probably means that there are fewer arguments over the remote control these days.
Leicester Do The Unthinkable
If you think watching Leicester do the unthinkable was great just as a spectator, imagine if you were one of those people at the beginning of the season who took up Ladbrokes offer of 5,000-1 to win the Premier League. It’s crazy to think that only 57 people took up the odds, which were the longest of any bookmaker. Of those 57, all but 21 cashed-out early, leaving one punter who placed a £20 bet that earned them £100,000.
But why is this the biggest of all time? In total, the bookies lost a whopping £25 million, the largest loss in British bookmaker history. Not only that, but it’s changed the face of betting forever.
Ladbrokes spokesman, David Williams, said in after Leicester has sealed victory “The first rule of bookmaking is ‘never say never’, and we broke that rule last August.
“Leicester winning the title was in the realms of the ridiculous, and it has cost us the biggest anti-post payout in our 130-year history.
“For a 5,000-1 shot to emerge as a winner is absolutely off the charts in betting terms. The longest odds on a Grand National winner were 100-1, England were 250-1 before they won the Ashes in 1981, and Buster Douglas beat Mike Tyson as a 50-1 shot in 1990, so nothing else comes close.
“It means we will have to completely recalibrate how we approach betting on outsiders.”
Back to the accumulators for the rest of us then!