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Meet the man who beat the bookies – and the banks. But the odds are against you | Money | The Guardian

Is it possible to make money online sports gambling? Yes, says Simon Inglis, who has made over the usual best-buy savings account in a year — but no if you look at the victims of this Market, as we detail below ambling, goes the consensus, is a mug’s game. Surely that has been my view. Aside from an yearly punt on the Grand National I steered well clear. Not least, having rid the contents of my uncle’s slum flat, strewn with betting slips, I associated it with failure.
Another obstacle is mental arithmetic. It is not my strong point. If a gambler attempted to talk me through the fundamentals, I glazed over within seconds. But then this time my novel, Played in London, was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year. My reward? A free #1,000 bet.
Not wishing to blow this possibility of a windfall — those stats you read about just how small the average writer earns are bang on — I put the bet on what I thought was a cert: my team, Aston Villa, of the Premier League, to beat Blackpool, afterward in collapse from the division below, in the FA Cup at odds of 4/9. Average Villa left it late, nabbing the winner in the 88th minute. However, a win is a win.
Now you may laugh, but despite 35 years of writing about game, albeit its heritage and civilization, not athletic itself, I had never quite understood that when you win a bet you get not just the gain, but also your stake back. So I was chuffed to receive a William Hill cheque, not for #444.44 as I’d anticipated, but for #1,444.44. Tax free.

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