Oddly Enough

Horse racing bet makes man birthday millionaire

Manduro, ridden by Steffan Pasquier, passes spectators on the way to the winner's enclosure after winning the Prince of Wales's Stakes on the second day of racing at the Royal Ascot horse racing meet June 20, 2007. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - A British man celebrated his 60th birthday in unexpected style at the weekend when a 50 pence ($1) bet on the horses turned him into an instant millionaire.

Fred Craggs, from Yorkshire in northern England, was not even aware of his win when he walked into a branch of the William Hill betting agency to see how he had done with his accumulator bet.

When he was informed of his good fortune he was said to have turned rather pale and muttered that he had better go home to tell his wife.

His coup was selecting eight winners running at various courses around the country -- starting with one called “Isn’t That Lucky” and finishing with “A Dream Come True” -- at odds of 2,000,000 to one.

“This is the most amazing bet ever placed since betting shops were made legal in 1961,” William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said on Monday.

Reporting by Jeremy Lovell; editing by Richard Balmforth