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Last Updated: Monday, 1 March, 2004, 08:41 GMT
Kiwi gambler bets large on Rings
The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson
The Lord of the Rings director was favourite to win
A New Zealand gambler bet more than AUS$105,000 (43,490) on Return of the King director Peter Jackson winning best director at the Oscars.

Australian online bookmaker Centrebet said the unnamed customer - from Hawke's Bay in New Zealand - laid the bet in two separate amounts.

"He's the biggest punter for the Oscars we've ever had," a spokesman said.

The gambler only won AUS$5,250 (2,170) for his record bet, as Jackson had been the clear favourite to win.

He does, however, retain the amount he waged on Jackson's win.

Clean sweep

Other nominees included Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation), Clint Eastwood (Mystic River) and Fernando Mereilles (City of God).

Jackson had twice been nominated for best director for the two previous Lord of the Rings films, but had come away empty-handed.

His best director award was one of 11 Oscars the film won - the biggest clean sweep in Oscar history.

It also took best picture - beating Mystic River and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World - as well as best adapted screenplay, best music and best visual effects.

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