The authors of a huge number of books on betting especially mention the importance of using intuition. Unfortunately, there is no mention of the more indirect factors that lead to success. Adrian Hayward, who opens our story, genuinely believes in divination dreams – back in 2005, he dreamed that a member of the Liverpool team would score a brace of goals from midfield.

The bookmaker for such an event offered odds of 125 and Adrian, without thinking twice, bet 200 pounds. And so it was afterwards, with Xabi Alonso scoring the ball from his own half of the pitch to earn the player an excellent win.

Failed millionaires

Flash forward to 1996, Great Britain. Racehorse enthusiast Daren Yates bet £59 at odds of 1 :25,000. His bet was that jockey Frankie Dettori would win every race at Ascot in one season. It did – the bookmaker paid his client £550,000.

It is worth noting that the Guinness Book of World Records at one time listed several cases of truly incredible victories. So, the year 1984 – Edward Hodson, a resident of Great Britain, bet 55 pounds that the horse of his choice will manage to win. The odds offered crossed the 1 in 4 million mark, but after Hodson actually predicted the outcome of the race, he only received £3,000, the maximum that bookmakers could pay out at the time.

A similar story happened in 1995 – that’s when a customer of a well-known bookmaker made a 5p bet on the underdog of the race, on which the odds reached 1:3072997. The payout thresholds then, we note, increased and the lady received 153.6 thousand British pounds for her prediction.

Relative betting

European bookmakers place huge bets on what relatives will do over a period of time. In England, for example, it is widely bet that a son or grandson becomes prime minister or wins the Nobel Prize.

The odds offered by bookmakers are often over 1:1000. The odds are not often enough to win, but miracles do happen. Liverpool midfielder Harry Wilson’s grandfather has had personal experience of this. When the footballer was just 2 years old, his grandfather placed a £50 bet with bookmaker William Hill that his grandson would play for the national team. The bookmaker ended up paying out 125,000 British pounds.

A similar bet was placed by Mike Williams on his son Shane. The bet reached £50, betting that Shane would make great strides in rugby and become Wales’ top scorer. The bookmaker paid out £25,000

Continuing the theme of the biggest and most unusual winnings at the bookmakers we would like to quote the story of Lewis Hamilton, who is the Formula 1 world champion. Lewis was doing well on the racetracks at the age of 14 and it was then that an employee of a karting park appreciated Lewis’s skills. He later went to a bookmaker and bet £100 that Hamilton would become Formula 1 champion before his 25th birthday. Nine years later, the unnamed employee received a payout of £125,000.

The big bummer

It’s no secret that the vast majority of betting clients are adrenaline junkies. This explains why there are so many gamblers in this industry. In this section, we tell the story of Jordan Donnellan, who is aged 19.

Jordan put together a parlay of 14 events and, much to his surprise, it played! To celebrate, the lad threw a huge party and the next day he went to the Ladbrokes betting shop for the well-deserved prize of 1.2 million British pounds.

Staff at the office did not pay out the prize, informing the customer that he had filled in the wrong card. So, there are two types of cards in the bookmaker’s office, which are called Weekend Result Rush and Weekend Result Rush. They differ in that the first one simply requires you to guess the result of the match, the second one also requires you to guess the result, but the match must be scored by 2 teams.

Donnell filled in the second card where the odds were higher. In the end it turned out that only 1 team scored in some of the matches and, as a consequence, Ladbrokes rightly refused to pay out.

Unbelievable cambique

Now we get to 2010 where there was an unbelievable comeback that made good money for a bookmaker customer who placed a live bet. The sporting event on which the bet was placed was the Africa Cup match. Here, the Angolan national team literally tore apart the Mali national team 4-0 already in the 78th minute. As a consequence, the odds on the outsider’s victory rose to 1000. A PaddyPower client bet £50 and earned a huge amount, as the score ended 4-4 (a handicap was offered on the outsider). Although the match was deemed suspicious, the bookmaker paid out the winnings fairly.

Payment for patriotism

Many of the Greek players in 2004 did not believe that the Greek team had won the European Championships. A Greek fan believed in the team’s success, who had bet 7,300 USD on the team’s title at odds of 50.0. When the Greeks qualified for the finals, he added another $14,600 to his bet and ultimately got more than $600,000.

Case in Belarus

An incredible payout was made in 2008 by a Belarusian bookmaker. A client of a bookmaker’s office guessed 14 outcomes of a bet on a World Cup qualifying match. However, only 50 cents was bet, but the odds stood at 1:209856.

Highest odds in history

Earlier in 2001 Staffordshire resident Mick Gibbs had put together a 15-match winning streak with 50 cents at a bookmaker. The odds reached an unbelievable 1: 1666666 and Mick was awarded $833,000 for correct predictions.

Textbook winnings

The year 2010 saw a world-wide publicity of Douglas Taylor who managed to get an unbelievable win simply by using a method from the novel Even Money by Felix and Dick Francis. The authors said that a bookmaker’s client paid 30 people to bet £200 on an underdog at 100:1 odds a few minutes before the race at the racetrack.

Such complications were made in order to prevent the bookmakers from lowering the odds before the start of the race. So, if a player were to bet a large amount at a time, the odds would drop seriously. This is a key feature of sweepstakes where there are no set odds. In the book Even Money, a player’s luck smiled and he got $600,000.

Douglas decided to go the same way. A bet was made on the horse D Four Dave – it was bet 33,000 British pounds. Initial quotes reached 14:1 and Taylor involved 200 foreigners to the affair, who put £165 on the horse 5 minutes before the start of the race. Suspecting something was amiss, the bookmaker started lowering the odds, but eventually the horse finished first, fetching a handsome prize of £165,000.