An octogenarian grandfather has stung the bookies for an incredible 90,000/1 winner….and yet walked away with ‘just’ £2,686.
One of the basis tenets of responsible gambling is to only bet what you can afford to lose, and so respect should go to Janus ‘George’ Wagonback, who staked just 3p on a coupon of football bets made up of ten draws.
In fact, Wagonback’s stake was so small that he would normally not allowed to bet such a tiny amount – Betfred, with whom he placed the wager, typically has a minimum stake requirement of 5p. However, as a regular customer, the bookie decided that the 85-year-old could get involved.
George’s ten-fold was a continental affair which saw him back the draw in games played in England, Scotland and even the Middle East:
- Millwall vs Preston NE
- AFC Wimbledon vs Cheltenham
- Bradford City vs Leyton Orient
- Colchester United vs Rochdale
- Swindon Town vs Crawley Town
- Dundee vs Dundee United
- Hibernian vs Hearts
- Ross County vs Aberdeen
- St Mirren vs Motherwell
- Lebanon vs Iraq
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George admitted he didn’t know he had won until the day after the games were played, leafing through the paper he saw the results and realised his odds-defying acca had landed.
It’s probably a good job too, given that his heart rate would have been up and down amid the sheer drama of it all. Preston missed a late penalty that could have seen them scupper George’s big payday, Wimbledon needed an 80th minute equaliser from Aaron Cosgrave
Factor in Elliot Watt’s 83rd minute equaliser for Bradford, and Louis Reed’s astonishing 96th minute goal for Swindon, and the 85-year-old would have probably needed a good sit down to get his breath back.
It’s fair to say Wagonback has lived a dramatic life. He fled Budapest in the 1950s as a political refugee, opting to set up home in Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, and since coming to the UK he has become a chess tournament winner and a former Mr Nottingham champion.
Speaking of his winning flutter, George said:
“I was confident the Scottish games would all be draws, as they often are up there.”
And after finding out he was a winner, the pensioner revealed that ‘I did feel good, but I can’t jump around much these days — only little jumps.’
Fred Done, the owner of Betfred, confirmed that this was a one-in-a-million winning wager.
“I’ve been in this business for over 50 years, and cannot remember anyone winning so much from just three pence,” he said. “It is a truly remarkable win, with him beating odds of virtually 90,000/1.”
In all of our years of reporting on the betting sector, we also can’t remember anybody bettering odds of 90,000/1, although Paddy Power have written about the time they were taken for a 98,000/1 mega bet back in 2013.
Maybe Wagonback will go on to break his own record. He has revealed:
“I’ve had some significant wins on the football over the years. My ambition is to skin Betfred for a million.”
He might have to stake a fraction more than 3p to get there….