UPDATED ON: by James Worden

Betting comes with an inherent risk. Every punter knows this; that most of the time the odds are stacked against them, but with that dynamic comes the potential to win huge sums of money.

Now, with online gambling becoming a reliable and convenient way of placing bets, more and more people are getting involved. Major sites like 888 Sport which offer sports betting odds provide people with a safe and comprehensive platform to stake money.

With so many people betting, it’s no surprise that there have been some enormous wins over the years. Somebody’s got to win those big pay-outs, all it takes is a keen eye, patience and at times, a bit of blind luck. Some big winners are experienced, and some do not have a clue what they are doing.

Perhaps no UK payout was more impressive than that of Fred Craggs in 2008. The Yorkshireman, who was 60 at the time, decided to stick 50p on a ludicrously long horse-racing accumulator. The bet included eight races in total, from events at Sandown, Wolverhampton and Dubai, equating to odds of 2,000,000/1.

Amazingly, all eight of Craggs’ picks came in, meaning he walked away with £1,000,000 from just 50p. That is some serious profit.

Sticking with the races, a punter in 1996 also raked in an eye-watering amount of money after jockey Frankie Dettori pulled off one of the most impressive feats the sport has ever seen.

Dettori won all seven races at Ascot, an occurrence that was priced at 25,000/1. Well, Darren Years of Morecambe fancied some of that action and placed £59 on that outcome, netting himself £550,000 once Dettori crossed that final finish line.

UK's biggest sport betting pay-outs

Everybody Loves an Accumulator

One of the more dramatic accumulator wins came a few years ago when an anonymous bettor picked the results of eight games, totalling odds of 6,542/1. So confident was this punter that they staked £100 on correctly predicting all eight matches.

What makes this more staggering is that this bet wasn’t placed before the games kicked off; it was made with 20 minutes left in all the games, and the teams the punter picked to win were all losing at the time.

After an injury time goal from Coventry, the bet came in, winning this lucky fan a cool £650,000, all in the space of 20 breathless minutes. It’s rare for someone to win that much money from a single bet, and even rarer still for them to have bet on teams which were losing.

In 2013, another unnamed punter made an incredible multi-sport bet to win themselves six figures. This Manchester United fan from Staffordshire made an accumulator but wasn’t picking the results of games; they were going for the results of 15 entire competitions.

The 1,666,666/1 odds suggested this bet wouldn’t come in, and perhaps the bettor agreed as they only staked 30p. Oh, but it came in.

They correctly chose the champions of the top five English leagues and the three lower Scottish divisions as well as backing Leicester to win the rugby union Premiership and Surrey to win the county cricket championship. On top of that, they picked Bayern Munich to win the Champions League.

Once the German side lifted that trophy, this anonymous bettor bagged themselves £500,000 from one of the most audacious bets in history. They had to wait a long time for their predictions to be proven correct, but that prize would have made it all worth it.

It turns out that the previously unknown bettor was Mick Gibbs, a roofer by trade. Not only had he won that £500,000, but two years prior he had taken home a further £157,000 from another accumulator.

In 1999 he correctly predicted the outcomes of nine European football games, staking £2.50 on his choices for some life-changing returns. Clearly, Gibbs has proven himself one of the most prolific bettors in the UK.

Sometimes, though, a punter will create a bonkers bet slip with a ridiculous amount of games included in the accumulator. Well, someone made one of the greatest longshot access in history when they included a whopping 19 games on the slip.

The odds were 683,738/1 and 80p was staked. As these events inevitably do, it came down to the wire and a last-gasp winner from Liverpool’s Glen Johnson against Chelsea won this bettor a staggering £585,000.

Perceptive Minds

Of course, you don’t have to choose an accumulator to make a crazy bet. In 2006, Adrian Hayward of Newbury was convinced that Liverpool’s Xabi Alonso would score from inside his own half at some point during the season.

Hayward was offered odds of 125/1 and backed them with a bold £200 bet. Those around him must surely have thought he’d lost his mind. Alas, he was right all along. Somehow, Alonso thumped the ball into the back of the net from behind the halfway line during his side’s FA Cup win over Luton, and Hayward won £25,000 for his trouble.

Another fan with amazing foresight placed a bet that was 10 years in the making. An F1 follower saw Lewis Hamilton racing at just aged 13 and was so impressed by the Brit that they bet £100 that Hamilton would win the F1 World Championship before the age of 25.

When Hamilton achieved that feat with McLaren in 2008, the punter cashed out with £125,000.

In 2015, George Wood - who suffers from multiple sclerosis - decided to put down a 10-game accumulator, sticking £5.05 on odds of 22970/1. The football matches spanned across various different leagues and dates and even included ‘Le Classique’ between Paris Saint Germain and Marseille.

Going into the final game of his predictions, Wood needed Manchester City to beat Bournemouth and they did just that, granting him £116,000 in the process.

In 2010, the African Cup of Nations produced one of the greatest comebacks the sport of football has ever seen when Mali somehow managed to reverse a 4-0 deficit to hosts Angola.

With 11 minutes to go in the match, it seemed Mali were condemned to a humiliating 4-0 defeat. However, one punter didn’t think so and wagered £5 that the game would end in a draw. There were offered odds of 1,000/1, which seemed a little harsh in all honesty.

Mali somehow bagged two goals by the 90th minute and then entered an unforgettable few minutes of injury time, during which they scored another two to level the game, which finished 4-4.

It was an incredible turnaround and won that bold bettor £5,000, which is also how much we would have paid to see the bookie’s face when that bet came in.

It’s not just seasoned bettors that have seen the biggest wins though. One anonymous punter opened an online betting account and made a handful of wagers. With just their 8th bet, they placed a multi-game accumulator with £1 at stake on 169,923/1 odds.

The bettor completely forgot they’d made the bet, and the next time they logged into their betting account they were stunned to find £170,000 in there. That accumulator which had floated to the back of their mind had now changed their life.

It was perhaps for the best that they didn’t keep track of the accumulator’s progress, as its success came down to a last-minute goal from Leyton Orient.

A smart way of enhancing an accumulator is to also bet that both teams will score in every game, which is what one bettor did for six Premier League fixtures in 2015.

With £5 placed at odds of 9172/1, they must have been overjoyed when three late goals from Everton over West Brom clinched their £45,000 winnings.

In 2011, another football fan decided to try their luck with an audacious accumulator which exclusively picked underdogs in eight different games, as well as a draw in a ninth. The draw they predicted was for Barcelona - then undoubtedly the best club in the world - to draw with Athletico Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey.

Bilbao did in fact hold Barcelona to a draw and the other eight upsets also all happened, meaning this punter won a then-record sum of £272,000 from a £2.50 bet with Ladbrokes.

Lastly, there was the anonymous bettor who created a 20-game - yes, 20-game - accumulator in 2019, with odds of 3,700/1. They predominantly picked the favourites in each game and their foresight paid off when Bayern Munich managed to hold a tight lead over Hertha Berlin in the final game.

Their £50 stake won them a huge £185,000 and a congratulations message from bookmakers William Hill, most likely through gritted teeth.

The UK has seen some truly remarkable betting wins, and more and more are happening now that online gambling has helped make the process smoother and safer. So, it’s likely we’ll continue to see some jaw-dropping wins from punters in the future.

Accumulators are clearly a source of huge returns but so too are other more outlandish bets. All you need is the confidence to go for them.