The Malta Independent 26 May 2024, Sunday
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Maltese Man scoops €683,739.88

Malta Independent Tuesday, 22 November 2011, 00:00 Last update: about 11 years ago

When Liverpool’s Glen Johnson scored their late winner against Chelsea on Sunday afternoon, he turned a Maltese punter’s hard luck story into a half a million pound football fairy tale.

For the goal landed record odds of 683,738/1 from bookies William Hill for the 41-year-old gambler who had staked less than a pound on an accumulator bet of 19 football results, the previous 18 of which he had already won, leaving his entire wager – at that stage already £152,000 – riding on the outcome of the Chelsea-Liverpool game in which the visitors were 7/2 underdogs.

The punter, from a small village in Malta, who placed his bet online at and has never staked more than one euro on any bet he has placed, collected €683,739 for his one euro stake. “We cannot recall any punter winning either this much on an accumulator, or landing such stratospheric odds – even though he wasn’t a Liverpool fan before, he tells us he is now!” said William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe.

“Football punters were already celebrating the biggest winning weekend in living memory as all the best fancied teams in the Premier League, Championship, Leagues One & Two, Blue Square, SPL and William Hill Scottish Cup turned out to be winners,” said William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe.

“This late winner in the final game of the weekend left us feeling about as cheerful as under-pressure Chelsea boss Andre Villas Boas. The weekend as a whole was football betting’s equivalent of racing’s Dettori day in 1996, when Frankie rode all seven winners at Ascot, costing the industry almost £50 million – and we are again blaming an Italian, this time unbeaten Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini, for kicking off the mayhem by beating the only other unbeaten club in the Premier League.

“Punters backing long-odds accumulative bets like the one described here were the biggest winners, most of them collecting four and five-figure sums from modest stakes.”

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