Gambler's 4,000bn pounds 'win' ends in court

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The Independent Online
TO STAFF at the tiny Ladbrokes betting shop in Hexham, Northumberland, it was the mother of all accumulator bets.

Brian McGregor, 24, an unemployed woodcutter, turned up with a coupon which correctly predicted the results of 61 Boxing Day football matches.

When lengthy calculations were complete, his pounds 1 stake yielded almost pounds 4,000bn, 10 times Britain's gross national product.

Yesterday, Hexham magistrates were told that McGregor, from Buchlyvie, near Stirling, who admitted forging his coupon, was 'enormously embarrassed'.

Frances Lennox, for the prosecution, said it had been a 'rather amateurish operation' and withdrew the original charge that McGregor had tried to obtain pounds 4,000bn by deception.

McGregor, who did not know that Ladbrokes photocopied coupon entries, had called to collect his winnings and was told to return in a couple of days.

A check of his original entry found the 'winning line' was one of three added.

Miss Lennox said McGregor, who admitted his action when he returned, got the idea after reading about four men caught trying to do this in Scotland.

Sentence was deferred.