One of the winners at NewmarketSean Dempsey/PA Wire

A winner, who decided to remain anonymous, won an incredible £209,731, through a series of 1p bets on a number of different horse races on Sunday. The approach, which is known as an accumulator, saw him lay out under £16 in order to win the cash.

So how did he do it, and why aren't we all at it?


The win

The man took the cash on Sunday, after selecting 11 horses in three different race meetings. He then placed a number of 1p accumulator bets using combinations of four, five, six, and eight of the 11 horses. So, for example, he put on a 4-folds stake - in which a specific four of his eleven horses had to win in order for him to get a payout.

He also put an eight-fold two-way bet on, which meant that all eight of the horses he picked had to finish in the top four.

The man said: "This sort of win is completely alien to me! I've had a couple of four-figure wins in the past, but I never expected this. I'm going to chill out over the next few days thinking about how to spend the money, but it'll go a long way in the current climate. I'll probably pay off the mortgage, and I'm a bit of a car fan, so I might see about a vintage sports car!''

So why aren't we all up to it?

Well plenty of people are. Kate Miller, spokeswoman for William Hill, said: "Accumulators are incredibly popular bets to place."

There are a few high-profile wins too. Miller says William Hill tends to see two big wins a year. There was a man who won £90,000 on a 14-match football accumulator in March, and another who won £64,000 on a 12-match football accumulator last October.

The risks

However, the fact that they are reported on is a sign of just how unlikely a big win is. The vast majority of all bets of this sort will lose.

This bet was particularly unusual, because he bet so little and won so much. Miller said: "This is one of the luckiest bets we've ever seen and the one all punters dream of. To see one with penny stakes is almost unique.''

It goes to show the risks involved in betting. It's these risks that lead the experts to advise that people should be very careful about gambling, and only risk money they can really afford to lose.

One punter in the US last week revealed just how badly things can go when you get carried away. The 30-year-old from Manchester, New Hampshire, was playing a game at the fairground called 'Tubs of Fun' in which you throw balls into tubs, and win if the balls stay in the tubs. He lost $2,600 - his entire life savings - in an effort to win an XBox Kinect. He left with a giant banana.



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