UK bookmakers hit hard by Monday’s semi-final

By Emma Rumney
UK bookmakers were hit almost as hard as Brazil themselves after Germany’s incredible 7-1 win in Monday’s World Cup semi-final, according to Agence-France-Presse.

Bookmakers including Paddy Power, William Hill and Ladbrokes all had to fork out hefty sums to punters after they made a killing off long odds.

Josh Powell, Paddy Power spokesman, wrote in the firm’s blog: “If you think it was a tough night for [Brazil striker] Fred, you haven’t seen the state of Paddy’s book.

“If someone in the pub had told you they had backed some of these bets before kick-off you’d suspect that the real ale had sent them crazier than a bag of racoons.”

But, he continued, these “stupid-looking punts” equate to a “stroke of genius” now, and would be elevated to the firm’s “Punting Hall of Fame”.

While no-one predicted the 7-1 final score – which had been priced at 500/1 at Hills and 1000/1 at Paddys – four Paddy Power bettors predicted the scoreline, such as one Essex-based punter who wagered £5 and walked away £2,500 richer.

A total of 82 punters backed Germany midfielder Toni Kroos to score two or more goals at 80/1, one of whom wagered ÂŁ20.

One punter who laid an 80p stake on a half-time score of 5-0 to Germany at 300/1 collected ÂŁ240 from Hills.

Joe Crilly, Hills spokesman, told AFP that while that was the only correct score bet they had it was still a “pretty bad night” for the bookmaker, with more than 65% of bets backing the Germans to win.

He continued: “Also, the injury-time consolation goal for Brazil sparked a million-pound-pay-out on both teams to score, which, more than the correct score or the first goal scorer, is our second most popular market after the match result.”

He said it could be the most expensive consolation goal ever – which is certainly true for one Ladbrokes customer whose £2 on Germany to win 7-0 at odds of 1000/1 was ruined by the last-minute strike.

Rory Scott, another Paddy Power spokesman, told the AFP that the bookmaker experienced Wednesday much like Brazillian manager Phil Scolari, “with a bit of a sore head”.

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