The Goal from the Center
An understated example of how a player’s reputation can lead to an incredible bet is seen in Xabi Alonso’s case. In the mid-2000s, Alonso had established himself as one of the world’s best midfielders, impressing first with Real Sociedad and then with Liverpool. Fans of the “Reds” were familiar with his incredible long-distance shots, prompting Adrian Hayward to make a special bet before the 2005/06 season. He wagered that Alonso would score a goal from the center during the campaign, with bookmakers offering odds of 125/1. Adrian confidently placed £200 on it, and the culmination came in the FA Cup match between Liverpool and Luton Town, where Alonso scored from the center, earning Adrian £25,000 and global recognition.
David Moyes, You Son of a B**!**
Contrary to Bulgarian pensioners, British retirees can comfortably live without scrimping. Nevertheless, this didn’t deter a pensioner from Pembroke, West Wales, who placed a £1 bet on an accumulator, eyeing a £1 million payout. He predicted 14 out of 15 matches correctly, with the remaining match being the Manchester United vs. Liverpool derby. Ignoring the fact that David Moyes, not Sir Alex Ferguson, managed United, the pensioner lost his million as Liverpool secured a 3-0 victory. Nonetheless, he received £72,000 for the other successful bets, a significant amount for a £1 wager.
The Feast of Goals
In the gambling world, the both teams to score (BTTS) bet is a straightforward yet relatively low-risk option. Wolverhampton Wanderers fan Brian Matthews took advantage of this by placing a £15 bet on a 15-match accumulator, all centered around both teams scoring. Despite the first 14 matches going smoothly, the encounter between Middlesbrough and Manchester City seemed headed for a 0-0 draw. However, a late equalizer by Martin de Roon not only secured a point for Middlesbrough but also handed Brian Matthews a hefty £112,500 win, concluding the accumulator in a dramatic fashion.
The odds of 5000-1 gained global attention when Leicester City became Premier League champions in the 2015/16 season. A fan boldly wagered £40 on this outcome, and after Leicester’s triumph, he pocketed a substantial £200,000. Even Hollywood actor Tom Hanks claimed to have won a significant sum from Leicester’s victory but kept the exact amount undisclosed.
You Picked the Wrong Side, Mate
During the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, a notable bet occurred just before the Spain vs. Germany semi-final. A wealthy enthusiast staked £417,000 on a German victory, anticipating an £800,000 payout. However, Carles Puyol’s goal in the 73rd minute shattered German hopes and cost the British fan nearly half a million pounds.
The Great Showdown
A unique betting story unfolded in Uganda when two enthusiasts, Henri Dabassani and Rashid Iga, bet their possessions, including houses and cars, on the outcome of a match between Manchester United and Arsenal. The winner, Henri, claimed his stake, leaving Rashid evicted from his home.
The Proud Father
Steve McClaren’s tenure as England’s manager in 2006 might not be fondly remembered, but it brought unexpected financial gains for goalkeeper Chris Kirkland’s father. Eddie Kirkland had bet £100 at 100/1 odds that his son would play for the national team before turning 30. When Chris Kirkland made his debut in a friendly against Greece, Eddie won a considerable sum.
The Proud Grandfather
Liverpool’s Harry Wilson provided financial gains for his grandfather, Peter Wilson, who bet £50 at 2500/1 odds when Harry was just a year and a half old. When Harry Wilson made his debut for the Wales national team, Peter’s bet paid off handsomely.
The Correct Column from 9 Matches
In 2011, a gambler turned a £2.50 bet on a straight column of 9 matches into £272,000. The bet included high-odds predictions for underdog teams, and the fortunate outcome demonstrated the potential rewards of strategic betting.
The Safest 12 Minutes in History
In a tale of misfortune and poor judgment, two students bet their entire student loan of £4,400 on a sure victory for Angola against Mali in the Africa Cup of Nations. Despite Angola leading 4-0 until the 78th minute, Mali staged an incredible comeback, securing a 4-4 draw and leaving the students with empty pockets.