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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 earn money online sports gambling? Yes, says Simon Inglis, who has made more than the usual best-buy savings account in a year — but no if you look at the victims of the Market, as we detail under ambling, goes the consensus, is a mug’s game. Certainly that was my opinion. Apart from an annual punt on the Grand National I steered well clear. Not least, having cleared the contents of my uncle’s slum apartment, strewn with gambling slips, I connected it with collapse.
Another obstacle is mental arithmetic. It’s not my strong point. If a gambler tried to talk me through the fundamentals, I glazed over within seconds. But then this time last year my novel, Played in London, was nominated for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year. My reward? A complimentary #1,000 bet.
Not wanting to blow this chance of a windfall — those stats you read about just how small the ordinary writer earns are bang on — I put the bet on what I believed was a cert: my team, Aston Villa, of the Premier League, to conquer Blackpool, then in meltdown from the division below, at the FA Cup at chances of 4/9. Typical Villa left it nabbing the winner in the 88th minute. However, a win is a win.
Now you may laugh, but despite 35 decades of writing about sport, albeit its heritage and civilization, not athletic itself, I had never quite understood that when you win a bet you get not only the profit, but also your stake back. I was chuffed to get a William Hill cheque, not for #444.44 as I had expected, but for #1,444.44. Tax free.

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