Page last updated at 18:44 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 19:44 UK

Man set to win on 'lifetime' bet

A man from Milton Keynes is set to win 5,000 after literally betting on his own life.

Doctors diagnosed Jon Matthews with a rare form of lung cancer in April 2007 and gave him nine months to live.

But Mr Matthews, 58, made a 100 bet at 50 to one with William Hill bookmakers that he would beat the survival time for this condition.

On Sunday he is expected to pick up his 5,000 winnings, said a spokesman for William Hill.

'I'm holding on'

Mr Matthews, a former car dealer, told BBC News on Friday that he feels fine and plans to give half of his winnings to charity.

Mr Matthews said when he was first diagnosed he thought "well hang on a minute, I'm holding on".

"So I took the bet with the bookies and they gave me odds of fifty to one," he said.

"They wouldn't let me spend more than a 100, so 5,000 I'm due to collect on Sunday."

Graham Sharpe, media relations director with William Hill, said: "I am delighted I was able to lay him the bet and at least give him an incentive to be positive for a year."

Mr Sharpe said he had never come across a bet like this before.

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