As we reach the business end of the season many a speculative long-odds football bet will be reaching fruition in one way or another. Whilst many punters will draw a blank, there are always one or two wagers that come good in defiance of the odds to land the bettor a small fortune. The beauty of these bets is the chance to win a huge sum with just a small stake –something we usually only see in the lottery or high variance video and progressive slots.
But it can happen in football too! And here, in tribute to all the dreamers out there, are 5 of our favourite wining long-odds bets of all time.
- Long Range Alonso
In 2006 Liverpool were a side known for incredible drama and spectacular goals. In the previous season the reds had overcome the odds from 3-0 down at half time to beat AC Milan on penalties in Istanbul and lift the Champions League trophy. Some of the club’s best moments had been supplied by the team’s talismanic skipper, Steven Gerrard. But it wasn’t just the club captain who could strike a ball with speed and accuracy from outside the box. Fellow central midfielder, Xabi Alonzo, was also known for his long range pearlers. In fact his reputation was so great that Liverpool fan Adrian Hayward decided to place a bet on
Alonso to score from his own half during the season.
Incredibly, Alonso scored in just this way in the 3rd round of the FA Cup in a thrilling 5-3 victory against Luton Town, netting Hayward a tidy £25,000.
- The Euro 2016 Final £1,000,000 Goal
Online betting operators are known for the generous promotions they throw at their customers in an effort to keep them spending. In 2016 BetVictor trumped their rivals by offering a mind-boggling £1,000,000 to any punter who could correctly predict the scorer and minute of the winning goal in the Euros.
One Aston Villa fan, a kitchen fitter from Birmingham, chose Eder of Portugal to score in the 109th minute. The game was winding down towards a seemingly inevitable penalty shootout when the Portugese delivered and our footy fan’s astute guesswork turned him into a millionaire overnight.
The Humbling of Brazil
Surely no-one can have predicted that hosts Brazil would be beaten 7-1 in the semi-final of the 2014 world cup. Well no one, it seems, except one anonymous UK punter who slapped £20 down on just that result, AND Sami Khedira to get onto the score sheet. The hosts were duly humiliated, Khedira slammed home, and our lucky bettor scooped a whopping £46,000 in prize money.
Germany went on to win the World Cup and Brazil were left eating humble pie.
- A Scottish Trio of 7 Nils
If 7-1 in World Cup semi-final wasn’t enough, how about the day in 2016 when the Scottish League Cup threw up an incredible THREE 7-0 wins, from Inverness, Dundee and Ross County. What’s even more miraculous than the result is that a man from London with little knowledge of Scottish fitba predicted the outcome of these three games, netting himself a tidy £60,000 in the process. Surely a fix?!
- Leicester’s Dream Title Win
The daddy of all dream football bets of course goes to the unrivalled and never-to-be-repeated rise of Leicester City to the top of the Premier League in the 2015 to 2016 season as they conquered all to be crowned champions. Who would have seen that coming? Well, a few crazy Leicester fans and punters it turns out, including one who won £200,000 with a £100 bet. Not a bad haul, eh?
So there we have it – never say never. And if Scunthorpe survive the drop a cheeky punt on a League One triumph in 2019-20 may just be worth a go.