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Friday, 21 June, 2002, 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK
Punter loses 100,000 on England game
Michael Owen celebrates scoring for England
The punter has lost the chance to be 450,000 richer
A football-crazy punter has lost 100,000 after betting on England to win the World Cup.

The unnamed man from the West Midlands staked the six-figure sum at odds of 7/2 at a Ladbrokes shop in Birmingham.

He stood to collect 450,000 if the national side beat Brazil on Friday, won the semi-final and went through to clinch the most prestigious prize in football.

Matt Finnigan, of Ladbrokes, said the massive bet had prompted them to slash England's odds of winning the competition to 3/1 behind Brazil at 9/4.


It's the first six-figure bet we've had on the tournament winners

Matt Finnigan, Ladbrokes

"You pay your money, you take your chances," said Mr Finnigan.

The man was described as a "shrewd punter" who had already placed a number of large bets throughout the tournament, some of them in five figures.

"He's always been on the right side. He very rarely leaves empty-handed. It's the first six-figure bet we've had on the tournament winners.".

20m showdown

The bet was one in a string of big money gambles on the England team.

On Wednesday, two customers in London placed 30,000 and 20,000 on England to beat Brazil.

Bookies were predicting the biggest betting turn-over for a single game.

About 20 million was estimated to be riding on the outcome of the showdown in Shizuoka, Japan.


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29 May 02 | Business
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