Football bet nets punter 654,375 pounds

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The Independent Online
A DEVON businessman won a record pounds 654,375 pay-out yesterday after picking all the winners in a football treble bet.

Ladbrokes, the bookmakers, waived an in-house maximum pay-out limit of pounds 500,000 to give Jim Wright, a 57-year-old coach company owner from Teignmouth, the bumper return on his bet.

'The bet was placed last August and it wasn't on a football coupon so we decided that the maximum limit did not apply. So Mr Wright is pounds 654,375 richer,' a spokeswoman for Ladbrokes said.

Mr Wright, who has already started to spend his winnings, insisted on the full amount because he had checked with his bookmaker before placing the bet last August.

He won the wager when Cardiff City, whose chairman is Mr Wright's brother, Rick, clinched the Division Three title on Saturday when they beat Scunthorpe 3-0 in their final game of the season.

The Welsh side's victory was the last leg of a pounds 1,000 each-way treble bet that Mr Wright had made, backing Newcastle United, Stoke City and Cardiff City to win, or earn promotion from, their respective divisions.

The odds which won him the pay-out were Newcastle 8/1, Stoke 6/1 and Cardiff 9/1.

The winning cheque, which Mr Wright collected in London yesterday, more than doubles the previous record football bet, which netted a Huddersfield punter pounds 250,000 in 1986.