Everyone dreams of winning big when they place their accumulators, some can go their entire lives without getting a big win; for others they’ll land one on their very first try. Whether it be by luck, research or sheer perseverance there’s been some well publicised stories of some truly ridiculous winners.
‘If you can’t beat them, join them’
One of the finest examples of the luck element of such a big winner came from a branch of William Hill in Leysdown-on-Sea as they payed out an eye watering £574,278.41. The unnamed woman who placed the bet had picked a 12 team win only football accumulator, she placed just £1 on the bet too. The woman was apparently fed up of her husband and son watching the football every weekend with their bets on; her husband had been doing his accumulator every Saturday for over 20 years and has never had a win close to such an astronomical amount.
It all started about six years prior to the big win, when the lady began betting herself. Just £1 every weekend as she adopted a ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ attitude to her husband and son’s betting habits.
On the Saturday of the big win, her son read out a list of fixtures and the woman picked the team she most liked the sound of. Most of those she picked were outsiders, with six of them begin away from home too. Some of her selections were as high as 4/1, which is quite a sizeable individual price for an accumulator.
These were her random selections:
Huddersfield to beat West Brom @ 6/4
Bournemouth to beat Newcastle @ 5/2
Burnley to beat Southampton @ 4/1
Brighton to beat Swansea @ 15/8
Sheffield Wednesday to beat Aston Villa @ 5/2
Barnsley to beat Birmingham @ 11/8
Bolton to beat Norwich @ 11/5
Reading to beat Derby @ 16/5
Ipswich to beat Preston @ 8/5
Burton to bear Millwall @ 10/3
Nottingham Forest to beat QPR @ 11/10
Sheffield United to beat Hull @ 8/11
She picked out just one team that were odds on. Incredibly too, there was not a single draw in those 12 matches.
The bookies highest previous pay out from a £1 bet was around £25,000. The lady remained unnamed, most likely to avoid any unwanted attention for having such a large sum of money. The staff at William Hill said they wished the family a very happy Christmas, with the big pay out landing just a month before the festive season. I’m sure she spent it wisely and her family should live out the rest of their lives rather comfortably.
An astonishing birthday gift
Back in 2018, the record for a pay out in Scotland was broken by a man from Leith in Edinburgh. In total, he staked just £5.35 on a series of accumulators. His total windfall came in at £682,282.14 and it also happened to be that he scooped this incredible amount on his birthday.
William Hill believe this to be the highest pay out in Scotland and the third highest in the UK, beaten only by two others. The other two were huge winners when Frankie Dettori completed the magnificent seven. A spokesperson for William Hill also said that the final part of the bet; an 8 fold accumulator with a 5p stake that pulled in £203,969.39 was the biggest win from that size stake in the bookmaker’s 80 year history.
So how did a 50 year old man from Leith manage to chain £5.35 in to a series of winning accumulators to land himself almost £700,000? Well, he bets relatively regularly, normally around two to three times a week. Many will have wanted to pick his brains regarding his selections but he’s far from a statistician or number cruncher; he backed the horses based on whether or not he liked their names or the jockey riding them.
It all came down to the last horse on his 5p accumulator as Ascot day, a 14/1 outsider romped home to a comfortable victory at Ffos Las. The man was in his local William Hill at the time to watch everything come together, I can only imagine the unbridled joy that such a win would bring. The man asked for his identity to remain a secret but did say he would be sharing his winnings with his family.
80p on a 683,738/1 accumulator, why not?
A keen football fan from Malta went online in November of 2011 and decided he’d place a football accumulator, he must’ve got slightly carried away as his bet slip filled up with 19 different results on a busy weekend of football. This punter followed one key rule throughout his time betting; he would never place more than £1 on a bet, believing that one day his luck would come and keeping his stakes low would become more than worth it.
In the majority of his selections he backed the favourites, although not delving deep in to stats it was a little bit more calculated than just blindly picking teams as we’ve seen in other big wins. He backed mainly home teams too, however it all came down to one selection – Chelsea vs Liverpool. With all the other games going according to plan it was all down to 90 minutes between two huge rivals. Chelsea were the favourites for the match, but the unnamed man had sided with The Reds for this one. They took the lead midway through the first half, however Daniel Sturridge levelled things up for Chelsea in the second half. The game was tight and tentative but then of all people, Liverpool right back Glen Johnson popped up in the box to slot in a Liverpool winner. That goal from Johnson was one of just eight he scored for the Merseyside club in 160 games, little does he know that for someone it’ll always be his most important.