Page last updated at 12:35 GMT, Sunday, 1 June 2008 13:35 UK

Dying man wins 5,000 bet on life

A terminally-ill man has collected 5,000 after placing a bet that he would live past doctors' predictions.

Jon Matthews was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer in April 2006 and given just nine months to live.

But the 58-year-old, from Milton Keynes, made a 100 bet at 50-1 that he would beat the survival odds.

He said: "I do get bad days obviously but I'm feeling fine today. Everyone's feeling fine if they're going to pick up five grand."

It has now been 25 months and a week since mesothelioma was diagnosed.

Never, in 30 years in the business, have I been so pleased to pay a winning client 5,000
Graham Sharpe, William Hill

"The longest the doctors have ever heard of anyone surviving mesothelioma [a cancer linked to asbestos] was 25 months," Mr Matthews said.

The former car dealer said he would give half the money paid out by bookers William Hill to the Macmillan cancer charity.

"The other half I'm going to spend on myself - booze and fags probably - I don't have anything to lose," he said.

"The other thing I've always wanted to do is a bungee jump."

Graham Sharpe, media relations director with William Hill, said: "We have never been asked to accept a bet of this nature before, but as Jon approached us directly and was adamant that it would give him an additional incentive to battle his illness, we offered him the bet he wanted.

"Never, in 30 years in the business, have I been so pleased to pay a winning client 5,000."


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