Pro Gabler Harry Findlay LOSES £2.5 Million on the All Blacks

Harry Findlay could be described as an incredibly successful or unsuccessful bettor, depending on how you look at it.

The racehorse owner and gambling enthusiast has made millions betting on sports, but he has been broke countless times as well, and his £2.5 million bet on New Zealand to win the 2007 Rugby World Cup must have drained the coffers somewhat.

In fact, he has said since that it was half of his net worth, gone up in smoke when France unexpectedly beat the All Blacks in the quarter finals.

Harry (45) had been backing New Zealand to win the competition for a while, getting average odds of 4/5 when all was said and done, although they had shortened to 4/7 by the time the tournament got underway.

Not only had Harry been putting his own money on the All Blacks, but he had been telling all of his friends to do the same, so who know how much more was lost on his advice.

To be fair to him though, the team had been on brilliant form in the years leading up to the 2007 World Cup, and Harry had been making money on them for a long time using the Betfair exchange.

The first warning sign was when Argentina beat France on the very first day of the tournament, in the group stages. He was banking on New Zealand facing the Argentines in the last 8, but with them ding better than expected, New Zealand ended up against France instead – the hosts.

Rugby World Cup 2007 LogoIt wasn’t going too badly at half time, with New Zealand leading 13-3, but even then, Harry wasn’t feeling so optimistic. He laid the All Blacks for £600,000 on the exchange, at odds of 1.03, which would end up saving him some of that £2.5 million if they eventually lost.

And lose they did.

France came back and New Zealand were struggling with injuries, so the final score was 20-18 in France’s favour. Harry had lost his mammoth bet, although with the last minute hedge he had reduced the damage to £1.9 million, but still, quite a blow.

A quote from his book, Gambling For Life, sums up how he felt pretty well:

“I remembered many times when ­defeat was harder from both a mental and personal finance point of view.

“This was a different kind of pain and, with it, the numbing realisation that I’d cost a lot of other people money as well.”


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