Leicester fan who stood to make £100,000 cashes in for £29,000
A preseason bet has spoiled the thrill of Leicester City's improbable Premier League title chase for club supporter John Pryke, who decided to take a £29,000 settlement instead of the £100,000 he stood to win if the Foxes taste Prem glory this season.
We'll let him tell the story.
"I couldn't bear it any more," said the 59-year-old Leicester Forest East resident, who placed a speculative £20 bet on Leicester's 5,000-1 preseason odds in August.
"So before the West Bromwich Albion game I called Ladbrokes to see how much they would give me if I cashed in the bet early and they offered £16,000.
"I said no but after the last match Ladbrokes upped their offer to £29,000.
"It was like being on Deal or No Deal and I just thought to myself that £29,000 isn't a bad return on £20 but if I walk away with nothing I'll be kicking myself.
First place Leicester City had 5,000-1 odds to win the Premier League. Those are the same odds of Elvis being alive. https://t.co/2Tq37w0LyP- Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) February 12, 2016
"I want to enjoy watching the team for the rest of the season and I don't want the thought of the money niggling away spoiling my enjoyment.
"My wife said the money will be going towards a new kitchen and doing the floors out of our house. My son didn't want me to cash it in but it's my decision at the end of the day.
"I won't be upset at all if Leicester win the title, I want them to do it. If they do I've watched my team lift the trophy and made £29,000 which isn't a bad outcome is it?"
Mr. Pryke's decision inspired another punter with a similar bet to take the money and run. The gambler, who wishes to remain anonymous, staked £50 at the start of the season and stood to win £250,000.
But after seeing one fan cash out, the man decided to follow suit and scooped £72,000.
Speaking from his home in Warwickshire, he commented: "I'm ecstatic, I read the papers on Saturday morning and thought it's time to cash out. Win or lose the league, I'm looking forward to the rest of the season ahead. It will mean so much if we win so there's no point in being greedy.
"The odds are constantly changing, even Chelsea could sneak into the top 4 at the last minute. I'll be celebrating tonight hopefully after beating Watford. A holiday to Spain is a certainty followed by paying off the mortgage with the winnings."