Cheltenham Festival 2019: Punter wins £182,567 from £2 bet

By Frank KeoghBBC Sport
A Plus Tard and Rachael Blackmore
Rachael Blackmore rode A Plus Tard to victory - and secured one lucky punter a prize pot of £182,567.80

A punter on his annual coach trip to the Cheltenham Festival struck lucky on Tuesday with a £2 bet that netted him the grand total of £182,567.80.

The once-a-year gambler selected just one horse in each of the opening day's six races - and got the bumper payout despite only having four winners.

On his winnings, the racegoer (who has asked not to be named) said: "My daughter is soon to go to university, so that will help, and my son is going on holiday - I think I will be upgrading him to first class."

He had a wager in the on-course Tote Placepot, where you have to pick a placed horse - usually one of the first three - in every race.

The Placepot gives a dividend depending on how many people enter the pool, and the total of more than £900,000 was shared by just 10.5 winning units.

With only one favourite winning and the three leading contenders in the big race out of the places, many chances were scuppered.

It meant a dividend of £91,283.10 to a £1 stake, only a few hundred pounds short of the biggest in the bet's history.

The winning punter said: "It wasn't until the second-last race that my friend said, 'You're still in with a chance'.

"We came in a couple of times after the sixth race to cash it in. We thought it might be a couple of hundred quid or something like that but it wasn't ready, so we went out to bet on the last race. We were lucky enough to win again on that!

"We came back in afterwards and handed over the ticket. The lady behind the counter... her face just dropped. I asked her how much and she very discreetly showed us. We still didn't really believe it."

He added: "I looked at the horses before racing and whatever took my fancy I put in my Placepot. My friend, who knows a bit about racing, advised me.

"We've been coming for years and the occasion is fantastic. We've been doing it this way for years and nothing's changed. We just do a Placepot and our individual bets and then enjoy the racing."

Other on-course winners at Cheltenham included two customers who each collected £36,513.56 for a 40p share, having played in 10p unit stakes, while there were numerous 20p and 10p winners.

One of those celebrating was Emma Knight, in the Chez Roux restaurant as a treat for her 13th wedding anniversary. She collected more than £18,000 and said: "We come every year to the Festival and I always have a Placepot, but usually go out in the last race! It's been an amazing day."

The selections of Tuesday's £182,567.80 winning Tote Placepot ticket holder:
Race 1 Klassical Dream1st
Race 2Duc Des Genievres1st
Race 3Beware The Bear1st
Race 4Melon2nd
Race 5Stormy Ireland2nd
Race 6A Plus Tard1st

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