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Punter scoops £2m jackpot from £2 stake

Steve Whiteley, a heating engineer, hit the jackpot at Exeter yesterday when he landed a £2million rollover jackpot from just a £2 stake courtesy of 12-1 chance Lupita in the final race.

Outsiders Black Phantom (12-1), Ammunition (16-1) and Mr Bennett (16-1) had seen off the vast majority of the tickets after the first four races.

When Lundy Sky (5-1) got the better of odds-on favourite Glitzy D'Ocala in the penultimate race the North Devon man held the last remaining ticket with a chance of the huge prize.

Lupita, trained by Derrick Scott and ridden by Jessica Lodge, who had only ever had one point-to-point winner previously, ground down Only Hope after the last flight in the Upton Lakes And Lodges Amateur Riders Handicap Hurdle to change winning punter Whiteley's life forever.

Whiteley, 61, from North Tawton, only goes racing once or twice a year — he even got into the track for free.

His total payout on the bet after deductions from the pool by the tote was £1,445,671 — the largest dividend in the Jackpot's history.

“It's difficult to say how I came up with them. The first few selections I had two in each race and that was going to cost £32 so I scrapped that,” said Whiteley.

“I'm a heating engineer — well I was! I've actually won about £300 betting today as well. I couldn't watch the last. I'm shaking like a leaf, I can't believe it.”

Meanwhile, still at Exeter, Ulsterman Tony McCoy closed in on the 200 winners mark for the season when he moved on to 196 courtesy of victory in the opener on board 2-1 favourite Semi Colon.

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