‘Crazy’ bets on Germany pay off for UK punters

LONDON, July 10: Germany’s 7-1 thrashing of Brazil was deemed “crazier than a bag of raccoons” by reeling bookmakers on Wednesday after some British punters lined their pockets betting on the freak result.

Of the major betting chains, Paddy Power and William Hill priced the astonishing World Cup semi-final result at 500/1, while Ladbrokes had it at 1,000/1.

Among the hundreds of thousands of punters, nobody predicted the 7-1 hammering at Ladbrokes or William Hill, while four Paddy Power customers predicted the scoreline.

One, from Essex in southeast England, had £5 ($8.50, 6.30 euros) riding on it, and is now £2,500 the richer.

“If you think it was a tough night for (Brazil striker) Fred, you haven’t seen the state of Paddy’s book,” spokesman Josh Powell said in a blog.

“There were some stupid-looking punts that look like a stroke of genius now,” he said.

Some 82 punters correctly backed Germany midfielder Toni Kroos to score two or more goals at 80/1, with one from Shropshire in western England staking £20.

“If someone in the pub had told you they had backed one of those other bets before kick-off you’d suspect that the real ale had sent them crazier than a bag of raccoons,” said Powell.

“They don’t look so silly now.”

A double bass-playing music student from Altrincham in northwest England did correctly back a half-time score of 5-0 to Germany.

Paul Wheatley’s 80 pence bet with William Hill at odds of 300/1, placed 10 minutes before the match, left him with just five pence in his online account but scooped him £240.

Out of 121,026 customers who placed a scoreline bet, he was the only one to make a profit.

Wheatley was talked into watching a film with his girlfriend, but, checking the score on his phone, switched channels when the third goal went in.

“After the fifth goal was scored in the 30th minute, we were subjected to the tensest quarter of an hour ever,” he said.

Born to a German mother, Wheatley spent seven years living in Dusseldorf.

But he said: “There was no logic behind my selection. I just like to place small wagers at long odds in the hope that I will win big.”

William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly told AFP: “All in all, it was a pretty bad night for us. Germany were incredibly well backed,” with more than 65 percent of all bets were placed on them.

“Also, the injury-time consolation goal for Brazil sparked a million-pound pay-out on both teams to score, which, more than the correct score or the first goalscorer, is our second-most popular market after the match result.”

He said it could be the most expensive consolation goal ever — and not just for the bookmakers.

One Ladbrokes customer’s £2 bet on Germany to win 7-0 at odds of 1,000/1 was ruined by Oscar’s late strike.

Germany have now moved from 5/2 to become the odds-on favourites at 4/6, even before the result of Wednesday’s second semi-final between Argentina and the Netherlands is known.

Ladbrokes said Scolari was 9/2 to resign before Saturday’s third place play-off match.

“We’re not prepared to offer huge odds about Scolari walking before the third place play-off,” said spokesman Alex Donohue.

“When it comes to a major shake-up in the post-mortem, all bets are off.”

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