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88-year-old man wins £345k from £9 on the horses

2/2/2011
An 88-year-old man won a £345,000 jackpot after placing a £9 wager on the horses at his local Ladbrokes betting shop.

John Jelley, from Wales, a relative newcomer to gambling, took up betting on the horses three years ago as a means of entertainment after a wrist injury. The jackpot was from a winning combination of singles, doubles and an each-way accumulator bet, but Jelley claimed he did not study the form of horse betting, and instead, simply picked the horses whose names he liked.

He has become what is believed to be Britain’s biggest senior citizen jackpot winner, and thought staff were joking when they told him he had won. A delighted Jelley said: "I came in on Sunday morning to do my bets again and that's when the staff told me I was rich. I thought they were taking the mickey and I told them I was too old for practical jokes. They showed me the screen and I just laughed."

The winning bet in full is as follows: 2.50 Wincanton: Sparrow Hills, won at 14/1; 3.15 Haydock: Frankie Figg, non-runner; 3.25 Wincanton: Bugsy’s Boy, won at 12/1; 4.00 Wincanton: Forget It, won at 12/1; 4.30 Wincanton: Furrows, won at 66/1. Alex Donohue, of Burry Port Ladbrokes, said: "John is living proof that big wins come to those who wait. We've never known anybody to be so old and so lucky. We think John's the oldest punter to win anything like this sum." The retired tradesman plans to spend his winnings on a cruise to his neighbouring town of Kidwelly, just eight miles down the Welsh coast, before returning home in time for his favourite meal: sausages and mash.

Maria Pierides
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