November 19, 2014

British heptathlon star Karla Drew turns £5 football bet into £50,000

As an up-and-coming British heptathlete, you'd expect Karla Drew to have a great chance of beating the bookies when it comes to predicting Olympic or World Championship athletics results.

But it turns out that the 25-year-old also knows more than a thing or two about football - because she took a bookmaker to the cleaners by turning a £5 bet into more than £50,000.

The Sheffield-based athlete - who is coached by the famous Toni Minichiello, the man who made Jessica Ennis a star - decided to stick a 10-match accumulator on the latest round of international football matches with bookie Victor Chandler, who is famous for his smug smirking in his TV ads.

But old Victor wasn't smirking when Panama drew with Canada and Uruguay beat Chile in the early hours of Wednesday morning: those were the last two result that Karla needed to scoop her returns of £50,354.

The other picks in her epic bet, as she shared on Twitter, were wins for Brazil against Austria, Estonia against Jordan, Italy against Albania, Portugal against Argentina, Germany against Spain, France against Sweden and England against Scotland.

All 10 of those predictions came true.

She said on Wednesday: “This is a life-changing win for me. Being an MSC student, I’m not entitled to any Student Loan. I want to continue my studies and do a PhD in Sports Psychology and this will enable me to realise my dream.”

“I was going to go to sleep before the final results came in but I was just too excited so I carried on refreshing the scores in bed. I only started to really believe I would do it with about 10 minutes to go of the Panama vs Canada game. I still can’t believe I have won!”

BetVictor’s Director of Public Relations, Charlie McCann said: “Karla acknowledged on Twitter that she faced a sleepless night on Tuesday knowing that eight of her ten selections were winners but she need not have worried. Few football fans will remember the goalless draw between Panama and Canada with quite the same affection as one lucky Sheffield student and it is a fantastic story that her win will enable her to continue her postgraduate studies and long term objective of being a sports psychologist.”

Not only that, but suffice to say at least one young athlete won't be scrabbling around trying to find the money to get to international meetings over the next year or two. Well done!

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