Sports betting depends on many factors, each one posing an obstacle which the shrewd gambler must overcome through analysis, intuition and the courage to put money where his mouth is.
Sometimes things go wrong, spectacularly wrong in fact, showing how sports betting can deal punters infinite joy and immense pain in almost equal measure.
In this article, we recount three heartbreaking stories involving unlucky gamblers who were just a result away from winning life changing amounts of money.
3 points separated a Delaware gambler from $100K payday
Over in Delaware, which is one of the four US states that allows sports betting within its borders, a very unhappy resident has to live with the heartbreak of missing out on a $100,000 payday after only one of the 15 game results he predicted didn’t match.
The anonymous punter picked 15 matches from Monday Night Football that would have netted him $100,000 if he correctly guessed all of them. The bettor got 14 out of 15 games right, and only needed the Indianapolis Colts to win against the Philadelphia Eagles to cash out the goods.
The Colts were up by 14 points through the third quarter, but the bettor’s joy at his impending windfall must have instantly turned into agony as the Eagles rallied and won the game 30-27 in the last three seconds.
West Brom equaliser takes away £1 million payout from UK pensioner
An eerily similar scenario to the above happened across the Atlantic to an unnamed pensioner from Surrey. The man made a £1 accumulator bet with a local bookmaker on the scores of 15 football matches.
The betting regular, who admitted to be more interested in horse racing rather than football, placed a cheeky £1 bet and then watched in amazement as he guessed one match after the other. With fourteen scores predicted and just one to go, he must have already felt the weight of a million pounds in his pocket.
Things took an unlucky twist however during the final minutes Fulham vs West Brom match. The score was 1-0 to Fulham, just as the man had predicted, but when the matched entered injury time, West Brom netted an equaliser that shattered his dreams.
Better luck next time!
Teenager ‘wins’ £1 million jackpot only to find out he filled in the wrong betting slip
What could be more tragic than actually getting all your bets right and then find out that the only error you made was in the type of ticket you filled out.
Jordan Donnellan, a 19-year-old barman from Durham, thought he had become a millionaire after correctly predicting the scores of 14 different football games. His family and friends erupted in wild celebration in the local pub after the final match, a Series A game between Catania and Juventus, ended exactly as Jordan had foretold.
Unfortunately, his joy was cut short after staff at the sports betting outlet where we bought the ticket told him that the ticket was invalid since he had filled out the predictions in the wrong coupon.
Gambler almost picks up £1 million but goes home with nothing
A punter was incredibly close at winning a £1 million bet on FA Cup games only to have the rug pulled from underneath him at the very last moment.
The unnamed man placed a £10 accumulator bet on five matches, which one after the other played out exactly as he had predicted. By the time the final game, Liverpool vs Bolton, kicked off he must have already started fantasising about all the things he could do with that kind of money. All that separated him from the jackpot was a win by the Wanderers and each team to score a goal.
Unfortunately the bet ended in heartbreak as neither team managed to score and the match ended in a goalless draw.
To add insult to injury, the sports betting company he had placed his bet with offered him a sure £15,000 if he gave up the bet before the match ended, but refused to cash out.