Page last updated at 14:39 GMT, Saturday, 30 May 2009 15:39 UK

Dying man wins bet he would live

Jon Matthews
Mr Matthews said he would give most of the money to charity

A Buckinghamshire man diagnosed with terminal cancer is to collect a second winning payout of £5,000 after betting he would stay alive.

Jon Matthews, 59, from Milton Keynes, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer linked to asbestos, in 2006 and told he had months to live.

He placed two bets, each with a £100 stake at odds of 50/1, that he would be alive in June 2008 and in June 2009.

A third wager will earn him a further £10,000 if he lives until 1 June 2010.

The widower will collect his second lot of £5,000 winnings on Monday.

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

Mr Matthews said: "I think I'm the first person in the world to bet on my own life.

"When I was diagnosed I was told mesothelioma was a death sentence.

"I wasn't that fussed because everyone has to die some time.

"But the interesting thing for me was how long it would take - would it take weeks or years?"

Mr Matthews said he planned to give away most of his winnings to charities, including the cancer charity Macmillan.

William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said: "We had 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 bets he wanted.

"Never in 30 years in the business have I been so pleased to pay a winning client £10,000, with, I trust, a further £10,000 to come next year."



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