Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Win some, lose some, for gambler

Wales star George North celebrates scoring a try against Australia at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. But despite his efforts, Australia won the game, losing Steve Richards most of the money he gained on a football accumulator bet.

A veteran gambler who scooped almost £40,000 on an against-the-odds football accumulator yesterday lost the lion's share on the Wales v Australia rugby clash.

Roofing contractor Steve Richards, 56, from Tonyrefail, south Wales, could have turned his back, banked his windfall, and taken a year off.

He was basking in success after correctly predicting the results of 12 football matches from a minimal £10 stake.

But with no taste for bulging bank accounts, luxury holidays or the quiet life, he pushed his luck instead, and lost.

As a result he is £30,000 down after betting on Wales to beat Australia in the finale of the autumn series at the Millennium Stadium, in Cardiff, yesterday.

The home team lost to its southern hemisphere rival in a 30-26 thriller, taking three-quarters of his £38,970 windfall.

Despite what many would see as bad luck he insisted today he is still happy with the outcome because he remains thousands of pounds ahead.

"It was a bit of bad luck losing the bet but I'm still almost £9,000 better off than I was when I started," he told Media Wales.

"I don't know how anybody could be disappointed with £9,000. I don't regret putting the bet on because I had fun and felt relatively calm throughout the game."

He said he listened to the first half of the game on his car radio as he returned from watching Cardiff City lose 3-0 to Arsenal.

He went on to watch the second half of the rugby clash on TV in a pub and saw three quarters of his winnings disappeared in defeat.

"My partner Karen wanted a pair of slippers from John Lewis but we'll have to leave that now," he joked.

"I've come so close to winning big money on a number of occasions and one time I almost won £238,000.

"I just keep knocking on the door - but I feel it's only a matter of time now though until I win big."

He added: "I don't need to win the money though to improve my life as I'm very happy and even if we did get a lot of money it would just be sat in the bank until we decided what to do with it.

"We wouldn't even be able to go holiday as we have our dog Suzie who jumps all over me if I go to work so I couldn't leave her for more than a day anyway.

"If I couldn't afford to put that money on the bet I wouldn't have done it.

"My business is doing well at the moment and to be honest I don't see that £30,000 as mine anyway as I won it, so I haven't really lost anything."

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