A pensioner punter is off to the Caribbean after winning £134,000 by being on the money with six race winners.
John Walters has been betting for 20 years with Betfred on the Tote Scoop6 where race fans attempt to pick the six winners at designated UK courses - and any punters who beat the long odds share the winning pot.
John, 72 from Corby, was one of six winners on Saturday and picked up £34,009 – but because he put his £8 bet on at Betfred, which owns the Tote, the bookie has paid him a £100,000 bonus.
Betfred boss Fred Done said: “I am a great believer in loyalty and John’s been with us 20 years so it’s fantastic for him that we’ve virtually quadrupled his winnings.”
Retired design engineer John, who is a father-of-two and has four grandchildren, celebrated his windfall at his local Betfred shop at Oakley Vale.
He said: “I was watching the racing on TV at home and was naturally delighted I had won the first four races but the last two Scoop6 races from Haydock were not being broadcast on ITV so I went to the shop to watch it there - and with the staff we cheered home my winners.
“My secret? Well I rarely go for the favourites and follow the trainers.
“It took me 10 minutes to make my selections, and I celebrated on Saturday night at home with a nice glass of beer.
“Virtually all my life and certainly for 20 years or more I have been doing the Scoop6.
“I won it once before 11 years ago and picked up £800.
“I have got to say winning £34,009 left me a little deflated because I thought there would be more in the pot.
“To get £100,000 extra because I’m the only winner with Betfred is just fantastic.
“It is mainly men who bet and some of them can be chauvinistic.
“I’m not and I often back women trainers who always seem to me to have the longer odds.
“I always do the opposite and never follow the crowd, that’s my philosophy in life.
“Following the crowd is bad value.”
John caught the racing bug during an early date with Elaine when they went to a race meeting at Redcar, and he’s convinced she brought him luck back in 1964 as he won £250.
John said: “That was a lot of money then.
“So what am I going to do with £134,000?
“We like going on cruises and have been to the Med and Canaries.
“We have never been to the Caribbean so that’s next for us now.
“We have been able to afford to go on a cruise once a year, well now we’ll be able to go twice or even three times and maybe take some of our family with us.
“It is an amount that will make our retirement much more comfortable.
“I know someone very well who will find a way to spend it.
“We’ll be treating the family, a celebratory party and a cruise round the Caribbean.
“I am so grateful to Betfred.
“When I left the house on Saturday to watch the last two races at the shop, Elaine warned me not to get my hopes up too high and she was right because I have fallen in the last race so many times.
“When I got home she was obviously delighted like me and we celebrated with a bit more than a cup of tea, a glass of beer in my case.”
Here’s how the Betfred regular got himself in the money:
- Leg 1, 12.55 at Haydock won by 25/1 shot Deepsand
- Leg 2, 1.30 at Haydock won by Waiting Patiently
- Leg 3, 2.35 Lingfield won by inzolo
- Leg 4, 3.15 Haydock Bristol De Mai pummelled the field by 22 lengths
- Leg 5, 3.50 Haydock where Ubaltique was a popular local winner for Donald McCain
- Leg 6, 4.20 at Haydock carrying a featherweight Dadsintrouble took the last leg for Tim Vaughan and rookie jockey Alan Johns by a wide margin