Leicester fan misses out on potential £100k win by cashing out of title bet
A Leicester City fan has cashed in a £20 bet made at the start of the season on his team to win the Premier League for a whopping prize of £29,000, but the decision could potentially cost him a stunning £100,000 pay-out.
John Pryke, 59, had a punt on Claudio Ranieri's team, who were pre-season relegation candidates, to win the title in August at astonishing odds of 5,000-1 with bookmaker Ladbrokes, explaining he was "not a big gambler, but thought it was worth a go after the way we finished last season".
In a stunning 2015-16 campaign, Leicester sit three points clear of Tottenham at the top of the table with 10 matches left to play.
Pryke decided to reject an offer of £16,000 to cash out prior to Tuesday's 2-2 draw with West Brom at the King Power Stadium.
But after the point in that match and subsequent defeats for closest title rivals Tottenham and Arsenal on Wednesday, the offer increased to £29,000 – which he decided to accept in a move that will mean he has missed out on an extra £71,000 if Ranieri's men prevail.
"I put the bet on before the season as a laugh, but the nearer it gets to the end of the season the more I'm thinking about the money and less about the team," Pryke told the Leicester Mercury.
"I couldn't bear it any more so before the West Bromwich Albion game I called Ladbrokes to see how much they would give me if I cashed in the bet early and they offered £16,000.
"I said no, but after the last match Ladbrokes upped their offer to £29,000. It was like being on 'Deal or No Deal' and I just thought to myself that £29,000 isn't a bad return on £20, but if I walk away with nothing I'll be kicking myself.
"I want to enjoy watching the team for the rest of the season and I don't want the thought of the money niggling away spoiling my enjoyment.
"I won't be upset at all if Leicester win the title, I want them to do it. If they do I've watched my team lift the trophy and made £29,000 which isn't a bad outcome is it?"
Pryke, who could also win another £4,000 having played £10 on Leicester at 400-1 at a later stage of the season, revealed the decision had received a mixed reaction from his family.
He added: "My wife said the money will be going towards a new kitchen and doing the floors out of our house. My son didn't want me to cash it in, but it's my decision at the end of the day."