THE BIG GAMBLE
|Would you risk it all?
You may be partial
to the occasional flutter. You may even have had a wager on Euro 2004.
But the odds are you probably didn't gamble a whopping £50,000
on Spain to win. Inside Out meets one man who did.
Adrian Fitzpatrick is
your definitive "rags to riches", self made millionaire.
Although Adrian has a passion for gambling, his fortune
wasn't won on a wager, it was earned - through good old fashioned hard
From humble beginnings running a flower stall, Adrian
now runs a successful florist business in Birmingham.
But that doesn't stop Adrian risking massive amounts
of hard earned cash on his favourite pastime and this year Adrian is planning
the flutter of a lifetime.
Fancy a flutter?
luxurious lifestyle was gained through hard work|
For many, gambling is an entertaining way of getting
rid of small change, but for Adrian, it's a serious business.
Successful wins in the past, including a wager of £8,000
that brought about a healthy return of £495,000, have fuelled Adrian's
He originally plans to place a £100,000 bet on
the European Football Championships.
This would make him the first punter to win a million
pounds on a single bet - if of course, he wins.
The bet is halved due to cold feet - not Adrian's - the
bookmakers. But even with half his original amount, Adrian could be set
to make a pretty tidy sum.
With the amount and the fixture decided, all that's left
is the small matter of picking the winning team.
Like any other business venture, Adrian does his homework
and with a useful network of European flower salesman at his disposal,
Adrian is confident he can get the scoop.
"The golden rule is 'information is power',"
hopes to get inside information in a Spanish bar|
With a similar climate to the host country Portugal,
Adrian fancies Spain's chances, but a second opinion never goes amiss.
A short plane trip later and Adrian arrives in the Spanish
holiday resort Almeria.
But sun, sea and sand are the last things on Adrian's
mind as he gets the inside story on local blooms and Spain's chances in
"I've learnt a lot about the plants, but I've learnt
invaluable information about the football," explains Adrian.
"If you're betting £50,000, you've got to
be sure of your information."
Even with research, no bet is a sure thing, so how can
Adrian justify risking three times the national average wage?
"I've earned it honestly. I've worked hard and if
I want to spend it that way, then I'll spend it that way," argues
So Spain enter the European Football Championships with
their country's hopes and Adrian's £50,000 riding on them.
go through to the quarter finals dashing Spain's hopes and Adrian's
In their opening match they don't disappoint, securing
a 1-0 victory against Russia.
With 10 televisions in his house, Adrian makes sure he
doesn't miss a second of the action.
Spain are in Group A, ironically alongside finalists
Greece and Portugal.
With only two teams able to go through to the quarter
finals, competition is fierce.
They go on to draw 1-1 with Greece so Adrian's chances
rest on securing a draw or win against Portugal.
For all those who watched Euro 2004, the rest is history
and as you'll already know, so is Adrian's wager.
A 1-0 win to Portugal costs Spain their place in the
quarter finals and Adrian £50,000.
A valuable lesson
Adrian is distraught but with a successful business to
fall back on, at least he won't be spiralling into debt.
Adrian's loss brings gambling sharply into perspective.
Gambling is entertainment - winning is just an added bonus.
If you're not prepared to lose the money, don't part
with it in the first place.
Whether you're a loose change flutterer or a big-money
better, Adrian has a piece of sound advice.
"Don't gamble what you can't afford to lose."