Every punter dreams of hitting the jackpot and -if we’re honest – is jealous of those who have done it. Every time we hear about a crazy accumulator coming in or somebody winning who picked a huge priced horse winner because of the colour of the jockey’s silks, the first reaction is always, “why couldn’t that have been me?”
Sometimes putting in the hard yards, trawling though form and statistics is superseded by a bit of old fashioned good luck. Gary Player might have claimed that the harder he practiced the luckier he got but no amount of practice could ever account for some of the wins featured here! We’re going to have a look at some of the biggest odds winners of all time, try not to get too envious …
The biggest horserace of them all is the Grand National. Dubbed the peoples’ race, everyone and their dog has a bet on the National which is run every year at Aintree. Picking a winner is never easy because the field (which can stretch to 40 or more runners) has to face daunting jumps like the Chair and Becher’s Brook over a race that stretches four miles and four furlongs.
In the history of the race the shortest priced winner was all the way back in 1919 when favourite Pethlyn hacked-up at odds of 11/4. On the other end of the scale there have been two 100/1 winners of the Grand National. First, in 1967, when Foinavon caused a huge upset and most recently in 2009 when Venetia Willams became only the second female trainer to win the race thanks to a monumental effort by Mon Mome.
There have been plenty of huge wins on the horses thanks to popular multiple bets such as the Placepot and Scoop6. In 2008, Fred Craggs from Yorkshire turned 50p into £1million when a 2,000,000/1 eight horse accumulator came in. Another famous big win came when one punter backed Frankie Dettori to win every race on the card at Ascot in 1996. His win cleaned out one on-course bookmaker. But spare a thought for Joe McGuire. The final horse of his Scoop6 bet let him down by a matter of inches costing him a £7million win. Thought we’d throw that in there just in case all these big wins were killing you too much!
In-play betting online and via mobile has revolutionised the betting industry and given more opportunities for crazy wins. 1000/1 football winners on betting exchanges occur a couple of times a season. That was the price available to back the draw at when Sweden trailed Germany 4-0 after half an hour in qualifying for the 2012 World Cup. An incredible fight-back from the Swedes ending in a 93rd minute equaliser saw plenty of layers lose big and even more foolish brave punters who made thousands of pounds.
Certain sports lend themselves to big odds winners, golf for example. There are regularly more than 150 players in professional tournaments, many of whom are capable of winning if they play at the top of their game. In the 2015 PGA Tour season alone Padraig Harrington overcame odds of 250/1 to win the Honda Classic and David Lingmerth was a 300/1 winner at Jack Nickalus’ Memorial Tournament.
Many of the biggest wins in the history have come from punters laying out huge amounts of money in the first place. However with a combination of knowing what you’re doing and some very good luck it is possible to make a life-changing amount of money from a very small outlay. Now good luck finding those long odds winners and make mine a pint when you land that crazy bet!