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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 July, 2005, 09:15 GMT 10:15 UK
Arthur's bet could be a dead cert
A pile of pound coins, BBC
William Hill said it was the first time they had taken a bet of this kind
A Devon pensioner has made a 500 bet he will die before the end of the year in a bid to cover his predicted inheritance tax bill.

Ex-soldier Arthur Robinson, who is 91, will win 3,000 at the 6/1 odds given by William Hill bookmakers if he passes away by 6 December 2005.

He has calculated that is how much his estate would have to pay if he dies before the end of the year.

Mr Robinson, from Crediton, said he regarded the bet as "a bit of a joke".

If he wins, it's his funeral.
Graham Sharpe, William Hill
Mr Robinson, who is married to Cynthia, 85, said he did not think the bet was morbid.

He said: "I had asked an insurance broker to get a quotation to cover the 3,000 if I died and he wanted 1,300 which I thought was ridiculous so I decided to go for the bet."

William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said that this was the first time that the bookmakers had accepted a bet on someone's own life.

He said: "We have had requests from people wanting to back themselves or, in one case, their wife, to die by a certain date.

"We have even taken bets from people who think everyone in the world will die on a certain date.

"However, when Arthur contacted us and explained the circumstances surrounding his wager, we were so impressed at his ingenuity in solving his taxing problem that we decided to lay him the bet - after all, if he wins, it's his funeral.

"It was, though, slightly tricky to calculate the likelihood that Arthur would not be around by 6 December but we took into account his age and general health and both we and he were happy with the 6/1 we came up with."




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