While most of us dream of winning big, one punter from Lincolnshire has seen his fantasy turn into a nightmare as Betfred is refusing to pay out his once-in-a-lifetime big win.
Magic Seven was lucky seven
Andrew Green, 52, from North Hykeham in Lincolnshire, had downloaded the Betfred app onto his phone and started playing Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven. He started off with £100 in his account before hitting the jackpot just six hours later.
After losing all but £3, he worked his way back up with bonuses to £600,000 before one final play won him the £1.7 million jackpot.
When Green realized he had won the jackpot, he called Betfred for it to reveal he had indeed won a staggering £1,722,923.54.
Like most folk who become a millionaire overnight, Green went to his local pub to celebrate. And it was a big one – he ran up a £2,500 bar bill and naturally dreamed of all the things he was going to spend his winnings on over the next few days.
But the dream was well and truly over when Betfred rang back five days later. The company said that it wasn’t going to pay out after all as the system had found “a glitch”.
Betfred said it would be generous though and cover the costs of Green’s celebrations with a £60,000 goodwill gesture – but only if he signed a non-disclosure agreement.
With Betfred refusing to hand over any evidence of a glitch, Andrew turned down the offer and consulted a solicitor. He is suspicious that the company is attempting to avoid paying out and argues that his jackpot fell within the 7,777-1 odds on offer.
Peter Coyle, Green’s solicitor, said that Betfred had refused repeated requests to provide evidence of the glitch.
A preliminary High Court hearing was told this week that the company did not have the game data and could not force the game developer to hand it over.
Green said that Betfred has put him through a whirlwind of emotions. He said: “They are quick to take people’s money, but when it comes to paying out they offered money as a gagging agreement. They have buried their head in the sand. How many are there out there who have signed similar agreements?
“I’ve been bullied. It’s a multi-billion company. I’m just a fish in a big sea and they are a great big shark, but I’m not going to be forced away just because they are worth billions and I’m not. Even if there was a glitch I did nothing wrong. I played that game and pressed a button.
“Because I won and for four days they congratulated me for being a millionaire, they should honor that bet. Over the last 10 years, how do I know all the money I lost wasn’t from glitches in the game and they’ve taken my money?
A spokesman for Betfred said: “Betfred loves to pay out all our jackpot winners, both big and small. Unfortunately, and as Mr Green is aware, a new game release suffered a software malfunction in January this year and no legitimate jackpot win occurred.
“Given that Mr Green is currently exploring his legal options, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”