An 85-year-old grandfather won an astonishing bet at nearly 90,000 to one at a Betfred in Sutton-in-Ashfield.
Janus “George” Wagenbeck has become a record-breaker after wagering just three pence on a ten-fold football accumulator, and won himself £2,686.04.
That places grandfather-of-three George in Betfred folklore, as nobody in living memory can remember anyone winning so much from such a small stake.
George placed his bet at the Betfred shop on Low Street in Sutton-in-Ashfield.
He bet there would be draws in 10 games between Millwall-Preston, Wimbledon-Cheltenham, Bradford-Leyton Orient, Colchester-Rochdale, Swindon-Crawley, Dundee-Dundee United, Hibernian-Hearts, Ross County-Aberdeen and St Mirren-Motherwell – and finally the World Cup Qualifier between Lebanon and Iraq.
He said: “I always go for draws because that’s how matches begin. It’s what you start with – and in Scotland there always seems to be more draws.
George, who is something of a keep-fit fanatic who always walks the mile from his home to the Betfred shop where he is known for doing regular push-ups on chairs.
He became a political refugee after leaving his home city of Budapest, Hungary aged 20.
On arrival in England, George, who was already a qualified toolmaker, got himself a job as a fitter within a week, got married and had a daughter.
He played tournament chess, representing Mansfield Chess Club – and was known for his expert tactic, reintroducing the King’s Gambit opening move.
He was also into body-building, mastered through his strict exercise and diet regime that in 1969 saw him crowned “Mr Nottingham”.
“I’ve had some significant wins on the football over the years, much bigger than this one,” he said.
“But then again, I usually bet more than 3p which is basically loose change that I had in my pocket.
“I took about two hours studying the fixtures and left it late to get to the shop to get my bet on because the Lebanon game kicked off at noon. I was confident the Scottish games would all be draws, as they often are up there.
“I didn’t know I’d won, until I checked the paper the next day. I did feel good, but can’t jump around much these days – only little jumps!”
After finding out about the remarkable win, Betfred boss Fred Done spoke to George and arranged for some complimentary champagne.
He said: “I have always been a winner because I set my mind to achieve things. My ambition is to skin Betfred for a million!
“I look after myself, and eat a lot of wheat germ and sardines two or three times a week. For breakfast, I have ground nuts and dried fruits.
“My family will get some of the money. I haven’t really treated myself as I’m happy as I am exercising – and eating and drinking whatever I want at any time that suits me.”
Mr Done added: “George, a Betfred regular for years has my heartfelt congratulations.
“I’ve been in this business for over 50 years, and cannot remember anyone winning so much from just three pence. It is a truly remarkable win, with him beating odds of virtually 90,000/1.”
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