Some call it luck, others call it calculated risk. These people call it a bit of both. Here are some of the most unbelievable sports betting wins in history.

Sports Betting Wins

1. Ascot Racecourse – Champions Day 28th September 1996

In one of horse racing’s most famous feats (termed the Mug Punters Revenge) no one deemed jockey Frankie Dettori, as anything special. But on that fateful September day he was indeed special as each one of his 7 races made him a winner. First with Wall Street then Diffident then Mark of Esteem then Decorated Hero then Fatefully then Lochangel and finally and most profoundly atop Fujiyama Crest. Fujiyama had been available at 12-1 betting odds that morning but suddenly bookmakers in the ring realised that they could lay 2-1 against a horse whose betting chances were closer to 12-1, so just about everyone wagered all they had on this horse pushing the stakes colossally high.

A regular horse race betting fan, Darren Yates, wagered £67.58 in combining all seven of Dettori’s mounts.
Yates then left for the day.

As Fujiyama Crest flashed past the finishing post at 1st place bookmakers around the globe stopped breathing and bettors such as Darren Yates enjoyed the most incredible day of his life, winning a staggering £550,823 or R12,447,893.86.


(Detorri after his final race)

In other betting drama around this particular event, a cleaner who had bet 50p on each of the seven won £19, had she added a 50p accumulator she would have walked home £12,047.50 (R272,246.76) richer that day.

2. Liverpool vs Luton Town, Xabi Alonso Goal – January 2006

Although not the biggest of our betting wins, it most certainly counts as the most unbelievable and the stuff that dreams are made of (literally). Soccer betting fan, Adrian Hayward apparently had a dream that Xabi Alonso would score a goal from his end of the field some time during the season. He placed a £200 (R4500) bet at 125-1 betting odds.

Somehow Hayward had been right and this ridiculous feat happened.

The deliriously happy Hayward went home with £25,000 or R564,967.

3. Leicester City winning the Premier League – May 2016

In one of sporting history’s most profound underdog stories, where Leicester City went from odds of 5000/1 of winning the Premier League title at the beginning of the season to being crowned champions of England for the first time in their 132-year history on 2 May 2016 when Tottenham failed to beat Chelsea. Read more about the Rise of the Foxes here.


(Leicester City after winning the Premier League 2016)

An anonymous bettor in the UK bet £100 (R2256) on Leicester City to win the Premier League when the betting odds were at 2000/1. He went on to win £200,000 or R4,5 Million. This news came just days after actor Tom Hanks, admitted that he placed a £100 bet on the Foxes too. One unlucky punter however chose to cash out his bet (a £50 stake) when he had made £70,000 profit. If he had resisted the temptation and waited until Leicester City were crowned champions, he would have made a cool £250,000 or R5.6 million.

4. Rugby World Cup – South Africa versus Japan – September 2015

Although there is no single story of a betting fan winning huge when he placed a bet on Japan to win against South Africa in one of the opening matches of The Rugby World Cup 2015 (it probably seemed too ludicrous to even fathom), we definitely wanted to mention this ridiculous achievement as it is truly unbelievable.

The Japanese were priced at 80/1 to win and were ranked 13th of the 20 teams taking part in the World Cup. They have also not won a World Cup game since beating Zimbabwe in 1991. However on that fateful day, the Cherry Blossoms went on to win 34-32 against the 2 times world cup champions in one of Rugby’s greatest shock wins of all time. The Springboks on that day were priced at 1/500 to win.

Rugby Union - South Africa v Japan - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool B - Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton, England - 19/9/15  Japan celebrate victory after the match  Reuters / Eddie Keogh  Livepic

(Japan after their victory against South Africa)

As the whistle blew and the crowd erupted and the Japanese team sank to their knees, shedding tears of joy. They were made instant national heroes on that day, none more so than full-back Ayumu Goromaru, having scored 24 points with a try, five penalties and two conversions.

Had anyone placed a R1000 bet on Japan to win, they would have walked home with a skip in their step and R80,000 richer.

5. Champions League Final – Bayern Munich vs FC Valencia – 2001

In 2001, Mike Gibbs from Staffordshire in the UK bet 30p on picking the correct winners of 15 soccer matches. His odds of picking correctly were 1666,666 – 1.

As the games continued to be played and he continued to pick the correct winner, bookies started to get nervous. In the final match between Bayern Munich versus FC Valencia the game went to penalties and Bayern won. And you guessed it, so did Mike Gibbs.


(Bayern Munich after their victory against Valencia FC)

He walked away with £500,000 or R11.2 million!

So there you have 5 of the most unbelievable sports betting wins in history.

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