Sky Bet reflect on some of the most unique winning wagers of the football season
By Jamie Casey - Twitter: @skyjamiecasey
Last Updated: 22/05/13 8:00pm
Sky Bet's biggest pay-out of the football season broke the quarter-of-a-million mark, but there was no shortage of other lucrative, unique and in some cases outrageous punts during another entertaining campaign.
Far and away the biggest winner was a return of over £256,000 from a four-fold correct score accumulator, which was settled in dramatic fashion following David Lopez's 97th minute spot-kick for Brighton against Blackburn in the Championship in January.
The late, late equaliser in that 1-1 draw ensured a 1,027/1 winner for the 27-year-old from South London, who also correctly predicted Aston Villa to beat Bradford 2-1, Notts County to defeat Oldham 1-0 and Aldershot to lose 2-1 at home to Northampton, all on the same slip.
Of the small stake accumulators, an electrician from Warrington turned his £7 investment into £3,247 with an ambitious multi-fold, while a 22-year-old from Manchester had a memorable payday when Steven Gerrard scored first against Man United, who went on to beat Liverpool 2-1 in Anfield - a 110/1 scorecast he stuck a tenner on.
In December, a Toby Carvery employee of Formby also earned over a grand in the build-up to Christmas from a £5 stake on a 10-fold slip, but he was made to sweat on his last remaining result as Lorient saw out a narrow 1-0 win over Toulouse in Ligue 1.
Last week, a Newcastle United fan in Bridgwater had Soccer Saturday presenter Jeff Stelling to thank for his correct Super 6 Special recommendations, which accumulated odds of 60/1, while a Nottingham resident earned £234 from just £3 for his Leeds and Oldham FA Cup double over Tottenham and Liverpool respectively.
Meanwhile a customer in Rugby, Warwickshire, used one of his free £5 bets to back Luis Suarez to bag a hat-trick against Norwich in September at 33/1, recouping winnings of £170. Similarly, albeit significantly less lucrative, another Sky Bet punter put just 10p on Romelu Lukaku to score a hat-trick against Manchester United on the final day of the season, earning a modest £4.00 to dabble with.
Amid a season full of surprises, most notably in the cup competitions, the punters couldn't be expected to pull off a domestic treble of their own, with no Sky Bet customers taking up a three-fold on last August's original odds of 15/8 for Manchester United to win the Premier League, 66/1 on Wigan for the FA Cup and Swansea for the League Cup at 50/1.
Combined, such a treble would have produced odds of over 9822/1, but one plucky bettor backed the Latics for Wembley success in a £10 single in December, when the odds were still 66/1, while another took them up at 50/1 in January after they dumped out Bournemouth in a third round replay.
Furthermore, correctly predicting the winners of the top five divisions before a ball had been kicked with Manchester United at 15/8 for the Premier League, Cardiff at 12/1 for Championship success, Doncaster for League One (12/1), Gillingham to win League Two (11/1) and Mansfield Town to top the Conference National (7/1) would have generated odds of 46643/1.
Real Madrid's UEFA Champions League tie with Man Utd proved one of the most popular events of the season, ahead of which Sky Bet customers were invited to request their own bets, a selection of which were made available, with Cristiano Ronaldo to score a header proving the biggest winner at 8/1.