IRENE Dainty feared the worst when she heard her horse racing fan husband screaming her name.
But she need not have worried for sales director Tony was shouting with joy after winning £279,409 from a £2 bet.
The father of two from Sheffield was the only person in the country out of 50,000 punters to pick the six winners at races at Newmarket, Redcar and Ascot to land the Totescoop6 on Saturday.
The couple have already decided what to do with their huge win…buy a new house for cash as they currently rent and Tony, aged 49 has always resisted taking out a mortgage.
Tony was following the racing on TV and his computer as the drama that has transformed his life unfolded.
He said: “On Saturday morning, I studied the form, made my selections and then picked three lines at £2 each. I'm a big Sheffield United fan but we couldn't get tickets for the game against Fleetwood so I stayed at home watching the racing.
“Summer Chorus and Muffri-Ha came in at Newmarket; then Wick Powell at Redcar and Sharja Queen back at Newmarket. I started to think I was on here. In all these years I've been doing the Scoop6, this was the furthest I'd got. Then number five came in – Librisa Breeze – at Ascot and I thought: 'It really is on the cards'.
“I didn't say anything to anyone at first. My wife, Irene, was in the attic, which we've converted into a craft room, and she was making Christmas cards.
Then the sixth horse came in; Easy Road, at Ascot.
“I shouted: “Irene!” and she said: “I don't like the sound of that.”
She thought something was wrong like I’d had a heart attack of something. I went upstairs and she started checking my heart but nothing was wrong of course; my pulse rate was right up though! I told her I'd won £279,000. I couldn't wait for it to be confirmed so I took our dog, Max, out for a walk, to calm down and then I refreshed my computer and the money had already gone into my account.”
Tony added: “I've been a racing fan since I was 18. I used to stand outside the bookies and wait for my Dad every Saturday. In those days they were just darkened windows, not shops like they are nowadays. I love Placepot betting because you can win very big like I've just done, for such a low stake. My first bet was in 1985 and I can remember it now; it was in the Lincoln and backed the winner Cataldi.
“I asked Irene how she'd like to celebrate and she said: “We can go and watch the dogs at Owlerton and have a meal, but I couldn't get a table so we ended up a kebab and some Prosecco at home. It was surreal. And it has still not really sunk in yet.
“We're going to buy a new house because we're renting at the moment. She's been checking with the estate agents already for a three bed semi in this area. I've always wanted to own my own house but I've been reluctant, not wanting a noose around my neck.
“I was talking to a friend at work only the other day and was saying that at nearly 50 I should be doing something about a mortgage. We've already got a holiday in Fuerteventua and Benidorm booked before the end of this year and next year it's my 50th so I'm off with the lads to Vegas and then there'll be a family birthday back in Benidorm.
“I was only thinking: “I'm going to have to cut back a bit on the holidays and now I won't have to because we can have all these holidays and a new house too.”
Irene doesn't want any treats or anything; just a house and a bigger kitchen. There are already two or three viewing appointments lined up. I've not slept for three days. I keep thinking; 'it's all a dream'. I'm having to pinch myself. Everyone says that once I get new house keys it'll become a reality.”
Fred Done, the owner of Betfred which runs the Tote, said: “What a brilliant result from just a £2 bet…congratulations Tony enjoy the holidays and the big kitchen in your new house. We’ve fixed up for you to be our VIP guest at Newmarket on Saturday where you can try and take another £80,000 off me… good luck!”
Under the terms of the bet, triumphant Tony has the dream chance to win another £80,677 from the Totescoop6 bonus fund if he can pick the winner at the Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket this Saturday afternoon.
All right for some, eh?