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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 on sports gambling? Yes,” says Simon Inglis, who has made over a best-buy savings account at a year — but no if you Examine the victims of this industry, as we detail below ambling, goes the consensus, is a mug’s game. Surely that was my view. Apart from an yearly punt about the Grand National I steered well clear. Not least, having cleared the contents of my late uncle’s slum flat, strewn with betting slips, I connected it with failure.
Another obstacle is mental arithmetic. It is not my strong point. If ever a gambler attempted to talk me through the fundamentals, I glazed over in seconds. But this time my book, Played in London, was nominated for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year. My reward? A complimentary #1,000 wager.
Not wanting to blow this possibility of a windfall — those stats you read about how small the average writer earns are bang — I put the bet on what I believed was a cert: my team, Aston Villa, of the Premier League, to beat Blackpool, afterward in meltdown in the division below, in the FA Cup at chances of 4/9. Typical Villa left it late, nabbing the winner in the 88th minute. However, a win’s a win.
Now you may laugh, but despite 35 years of writing about game, albeit its heritage and culture, not sport itself, I had never quite known that when you win a bet you get not just the profit, but also your bet back. I was even more chuffed to get a William Hill cheque, not for #444.44 as I’d anticipated, but for #1,444.44. Tax free.

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