North London pensioner turns forgotten 20p racing bet into £457k

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A retired accountant from North London won £457k from a 20p horse racing bet he thought was a loser.

The gentleman, who wishes to remain anonymous, placed a total of £2 worth of bets covering seven horses running at Lingfield, Doncaster & Newbury on Friday and when 12/1 shot McVicar overturned the hot favourite in the 5.05 at Doncaster, six of his selections had won yielding a whopping £457,067.52 from a 10 pence each way six-fold accumulator placed as part of the multiple bet.

However, the lifelong racing fan was completely unaware of the full scale of the win until he was contacted by Ladbrokes after claiming he ‘didn’t get round to checking’ the other results in the bet after Bendomingo, lost the 4.20 at Newbury, when in fact four of his horses had already won.

The punter said: “I checked a couple of the early results on my tablet but then after seeing one of them had lost I thought I might have only been on for a couple of places so didn’t bother to see how the rest of the horses had got on. The next thing I knew, someone from Ladbrokes was phoning me to congratulate me for winning nearly half a million quid and to ask how I’d like the money and I had no idea what he was talking about. I was completely speechless and I think it’s going to take a few days to sink in properly.”

“I’ve followed horse racing all my life since my uncle taught me how to bet 50 years ago. He’s not here any more but he’s the first person I’ll be thanking. I pick seven or eight horses a day, mainly going with ones I’m familiar with and have backed before, but I can’t say there is any particular reason for choosing these. I won £28k 20 years ago and £600 recently but this obviously tops the lot and I’m over the moon.”

“I’m still not sure how I’ll spend the money but my son and two daughters and their eight grandchildren will all get a share. I can hear them on the phone already.”

The bumper haul was also boosted to the tune of an additional £228k thanks to Ladbrokes Best Odds Guaranteed concession, with McVicar bumping up returns after going off at 12/1 despite being selected at 13/2 when the bet was struck.

The win is Ladbrokes’ biggest racing payout of the year to date and one of the biggest of all time across the UK bookmaking industry from a stake of less than £1.

Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said: “We’re sure this is one bet our customer won’t be able to forget now and we couldn’t be happier to pay the winnings to a lifelong racing fan. We’re sure from now he’ll follow racing results more closely as they come in!”

He added: “The payout is one of the biggest of all time from such a low stake. It might have taken half a century, but we bet our man is glad his uncle showed him the ropes all those years ago.”

Bet in full: 

1.50 Doncaster – Monfass 12/1 (price taken 11/1) Won
2.10  Newbury – Dinsdale 6/1 (price taken 10/1) Won
3.40 Lingfield – Peal Spectre 10/1 (price taken 16/1) Won
4.10 Lingfield – Boater 15/2 (price taken 7/1) Won
4.20 Newbury – Bendomingo Lost
4.55 Newbury – Wishicould 14/1 (Price taken 16/1) Won
5.05 Doncaster – Mcvicar 12/1 (Price taken 13/2) Won

10p each way 6 fold returns £457,067.52

Have a similar story? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet @Ladbrokes.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Apati

Having graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Creative Writing with English, Alex joined the News team following a three year stint working for Ladbrokes behind the counter. When he's not watching darts, he's throwing them. Failing that you'll find him YouTubeing Thierry Henry's greatest Arsenal goals.