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Dying Man Places Bet On His Life

A man diagnosed with terminal cancer has collected his second instalment of winnings from bookmaker William Hill after betting that he would defy doctors’ predictions and live for another year.

Jon Matthews, 59, from Milton Keynes was told in 2006 that he had just months to live after being diagnosed with mesothelioma – a cancer linked to asbestos – and subsequently placed two £100 wagers that he would still be alive in June 2008 and June 2009 at odds of 50/1.

Having already comfortably surpassed the first milestone, Mr Matthews will now collect his second lot of £5,000 and has vowed that he will give away the majority of his winnings to several charities, including cancer trust Macmillan.

“When I was diagnosed I was told that mesothelioma was a death sentence,” Mr Matthews explained. “But the interesting thing for me was how long would it take – would it take weeks or years?”

When he placed the bet with William Hill, Mr Matthews told the bookies that the wager would provide him with additional incentive to battle his illness and, following his latest triumph over the odds, the widower is setting himself the same challenge again for 2010.

Spokesman for William Hill, Graham Sharpe commented: “Never in 30 years in the business have I been so pleased to pay a winning client £10,000, with, I trust, a further £10,000 to come next year.
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