Twilight horse racing fixtures are extremely popular sports and social events and none more so than the National Hunt meeting staged at Punchestown on Friday, April 29, 2017. At least, not in the eyes of an unnamed Leicester man, who staked just £19, in the form of five £3 four-folds and a £4 five-fold, on five selections at the Co. Kildare track. All five selections won – in three out of five cases at odds significantly longer than starting price – and the anonymous Leicesterian collected the princely sum of £822,972.75 from Coral Bookmakers.
Having embarked on an evening out, the unwitting punter did not discover his good fortune until the early hours of Saturday morning. Nonetheless, the fact that he did not watch his selections run may have done his nervous system some good; his penultimate selection, Bacardys (10/1), only scraped home by a short head, while his final selection, Canardier (33/1), was strongly pressed in the closing stages before winning by three-quarters of a length.
Some of the winning margins may have been small, but the payout was the highest Coral had paid out on horse racing since the business was established by Joe Coral in 1926. Reflecting on what he described as the ‘realisation of a lifetime dream’, the lifelong gambler said, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do with the money, as it’s only just sinking in, but I have a few ideas and it is going to change my life.’
Simon Clare, Consumer Public Relations Director for Coral Bookmakers, was also in celebratory mood. He said, ‘This is the most incredible big-win story that we have ever encountered and a just-reward for our customer for twenty years of perseverance placing these ‘small-stake big-win’ bets day-in day-out.’