United miss costs Tom �13k payout

MANCHESTER United's penalty shoot-out defeat to Everton in the FA Cup semi-final made difficult viewing for Reds fans.

MANCHESTER United's penalty shoot-out defeat to Everton in the FA Cup semi-final made difficult viewing for Reds fans.

But for one Suffolk man, the surprise result was even harder to accept - because had Sir Alex Ferguson's team won, he would have pocketed more than �13,000.

Suffolk County Council worker Tom Brown bet a fiver on a 15-fold accumulator involving a range of matches including Valencia v Seville, Hibs v Rangers and Roma v Lecce.

With odds of 2,660/1 - about the same as accidentally injuring yourself while mowing the lawn - the 24-year-old didn't hold his breath.

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But when he checked his online betting account a day later, he quickly realised that nearly every result had fallen in his favour.

Mr Brown, from Holbrook, said: “I wouldn't normally stake a fiver on a 15-fold speculative bet but as most of the games were odds on, I stuck my �5 weekly limit on it.

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“I didn't watch any of the matches involved but I noticed when I checked the scores on Saturday afternoon that most were going my way.

“However, when I checked again on Sunday I realised Man United had lost it for me. I wasn't too disappointed at the time but then I realised I'd have only needed the three evening games to win for my bet to come in.

“When I looked again later that night they'd all won - and I was gutted. I sat there thinking of what might have been. Then it came to light that United were denied a stonewall penalty, and the rest of that day was filled with what-ifs.

“Come Monday evening I wish I'd never placed the bet in the first place!”

Mr Brown said he may have used the cash - estimated at a staggering �13,300 - to put down as a deposit on a house.

However, the infrequent gambler can console himself with a �250 triumph in a separate football accumulator and a �1,000 win in a recent online poker tournament - enough to pay for a new car.

He said that despite the disappointment of narrowly missing out on the bumper cash windfall on Sunday April 19, he will still chance his luck again this weekend.

Mr Brown added: “There's only a few footballing weeks left this season so I'll give it another go - but I doubt I'll come that close again.”

Have you been unlucky at the bookies…or have you enjoyed a big win? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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