The betting firm, Coral, launched their Football Jackpot at the start of the 2013-2014 football season, offering a £1 million prize. On top of that, the company added £100,000 to the prize every week that the jackpot wasn’t won, with £100,000 being the regular prize once the one-off launch amount was won. In order to win the jackpot amount, punters have to correctly predict the outcome of 15 games, which are selected by Coral.
Ironically, the prize was won for the first time by one of Coral’s rival bookmaking firms, a company called Colossus Bets. They have a jackpot of their own, which stands at £10 million and asks people to predict the correct scores in seven games. They bought nearly 35,000 lines in the Coral jackpot, allowing them to cover a wide variety of permutations and seeing one of them come home, resulting in Coral’s Football Jackpot being won for the first time.
How the Football Jackpot Works
The idea behind Coral’s Football Jackpot is a relatively simplistic one: you simply need to correctly predict the outcome of 15 different games, which have been chosen by the betting company in advance of the weekend’s football fixtures. All you need to do is to decide whether the home team will win, the away side will walk away with all three points or the game will end in a draw and honours even for both sides.
If you’re not sure which way a game will go then you can pick more than one result on the same match, but each selection will cost you £1. As a result, there are 1,594,323 possible outcomes, meaning that the prize would have to rollover quite a few times to make it worth the while of someone betting on every single outcome! There are also consolation prizes for punters that get 13 or 14 correct answers but miss out on the jackpot.
Previous Biggest Winner
The previous biggest winner of the Coral Football Jackpot was a barmaid called Kate Muir. Kate, a mum of seven kids, was en-route to claiming the £1 million prize but missed out because ten-man Hull were able to hang on and beat Norwich City on Saturday afternoon. That was a result that ended up costing the Scottish barmaid £948,000, though she was still delighted to receive £52,000 for picking 14 out of 15 results correctly.
She was on course to win £8,000 in consolation money, but when Manchester United drew with Chelsea, which was the prediction that Muir had opted for, it shot up to the £52,000 figure. She won the money after betting just £1, saying that she ‘would have been delighted’ had she only won the £8,000. She used the money to take her children and grandchildren on holiday, continuing to work her job at the Plean Tavern near Stirling in Scotland.
How the Million Was Won
There was a few week’s worth of tension in the build-up to Coral’s Football Jackpot finally being won. Numerous people came close, including Kate Muir, but it took a mix of 34,992 lines from a rival betting company to finally see all fifteen results come in. That’s how many bets were placed by the team from Colossus Bets, with the bet costing the company £34,992 to place. They payout equated to odds of 28.5/1, which will seem like money well spent to them now.
As you might imagine, the company was quick to jump on social media and announce their victory, even going so far as to cheekily suggest that they’d let Coral ‘take a crack’ at their £10 million jackpot the following weekend. The win not only results in them getting paid £1 million, but will doubtless also see numerous customers head to their site and sign up thanks to the publicity that they’ll receive. Here’s a look at what they bet on, including the eventual outcome:
- Aston Villa v Everton – Home/Draw/Away (Away Win)
- Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion – Home (Home Win)
- Manchester United v Stoke City – Home (Home Win)
- Norwich City v Cardiff City – Home/Draw/Away (Draw)
- Blackpool v Blackburn Rovers – Home/Draw/Away (Draw)
- Bolton Wanderers v Ipswich Town – Home/Draw/Away (Draw)
- Barcelona v Real Madrid – Home/Draw (Home Win)
- Southampton v Fulham – Home/Draw (Home Win)
- Partick Thistle v Celtic – Away (Away Win)
- Sunderland v Newcastle United – Home/Draw/Away (Home Win)
- Charlton Athletic v Wigan Athletic -Home/Draw/Away (Draw)
- Chelsea v Manchester City – Home/Draw/Away (Home Win)
- Swansea City v West Ham United – Home/Draw (Draw)
- Tottenham Hotspur v Hull City – Home (Home Win)
- Brighton & Hove Albion v Watford – Draw/Away (Draw)
The bet cost as much as it did because each time there was a multiple selection, it was as though an entirely new accumulator bet was placed. As a consequence, there were essentially 34,992 possible outcomes of the bet and each one had to be paid for. It was obviously worth it in the end, but just one freak result, such as Brighton & Hove Albion winning at home against Watford, which wasn’t bet on, and every single selection would have been a losing one.