A chap with a fabulous name, Tony Wonnacott, banked £310,408.39 from a £2 stake in April of 2009, when he had a go on the popular Saturday horse racing betting event, the Scoop6.
A keen bettor for decades, Tony spends around £40 a week betting on the horses, but the most he has ever won in the past is around £300, so when he placed his bet he wasn’t expecting much – especially since he had picked a couple of nags at fairly long odds as you will see shortly.
A resident of Teignmouth, in Devon, Tony placed the wager at his local Ladbrokes, then went off to watch his beloved Exeter FC in a disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Morecambe (they went 1-0 down after 9 minutes, then ended up leading 2-1 until the 79th minute when Morecambe equalised).
Things were about to get much more exciting on his way home from the game though, as he stopped into Ladbrokes to check his ticket, and found out about his astonishing win.
“I phoned my wife straight away and told her that I’ve now probably just about covered my losses since the late 1970s. I reckon I’m just about even with the bookies now.”
She didn’t believe him at first, but Tony reassured her it was real.
When asked what he would do with the money, Tony said he wasn’t going to go too mad; just buy his wife a new car, share some of the money with family, and maybe buy a racehorse…
How the Bet was Won
The horses Tony Wonnacott chose for his Scoop6 bet were:
- 2.05 Sandown – Sangfroid – 12/1
- 2.20 Ripon – Proclaim – 4/1
- 2.35 Sandown – Twist Magic – 7/2
- 2.55 Ripon – Kyzer Chief – 14/1
- 3.10 Sandown – Hennessy – 13/2
- 3.30 Ripon – Downhiller – 5/2 favourite
The first race was a field of 15, so Tony’s 12/1 shot, Sangfroid, was a bold call. The horse hid at the back until after 3 out, then went on to win for only the second (and final) time in its racing career. This left well over 20,000 entries in the Scoop6 win pot though.
Proclaim gave a much easier win at Ripon, looking strong the whole race and with the favourite finishing last, and Twist Magic had a similarly confident win in the 2.35 and Sandown.
The 14/1 shot Kyzer Chief was also in a field of 15, with the market fancying 10 of the other runners ahead of him, but he held close up the led over 1f out to get Tony his 4th correct prediction, by just 3/4 of a length. There were just 50 selections still in the running for the win pot after this.
Hennessy’s run in the Gold Cup at Sandown was arguably the most exciting race of the day, with AP McCoy taking his horse over the last in 4th place, then battling up the hill to pass the winning post in 1st by a nose. It was thrilling stuff, and if Tony had been watching, he would have been screaming at the TV by this point.
This left just 7 Scoop6 bets alive in terms of the win pot, and for the final race, Tony had chosen the only favourite on his card, Downhiller. The horse only won by half a length, but nevertheless, it was enough to win Tony and 2 other bettors more than £310k each.
Exeter were promoted at the end of the season too, so it was a pretty good year for Tony Wonnacott.