Leicester City fans across the world showed their joy after the Premier League triumph. Photo: Ross Kinnaird Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy arrives at San Carlo Pizzeria for a celebratory lunch after they clinched the most improbable of Premier League titles. Photo: PA
Sydney man Tim Oakley spends his work days analysing risk and treasury data, so he should know a good financial opportunity when he sees one.
When he noticed that Leicester City, the team representing the place where his English-born father Colin grew up, were paying astronomical odds to win the English Premier League this season, he decided to have a small wager at the start of the campaign last August.
Oakley, who lives in Como in NSW, put $5 on the Foxes to win the Premiership with Sportsbet at 3000-1. Fearing that betting company might have a payout limit, he also put $5 on with Centrebet at 2000-1, averaging his bet out at 2500-1.
Today he is $25,000 richer as a result of his blind faith in the team he has followed from a distance all his life, and his children Aliza, who turned five on Thursday, and Sebastian (two and a half) are looking forward to a trip to Disneyland to celebrate.
“I thought the odds were so high it was worth a small bet at the time,” he said. “I like to bet that way, taking small bets on long shots to try to win large amounts.
“At Christmas, I thought I could cash in but I decided not to. They were top of the league and the companies were offering cash-outs but I thought I would let it ride.
“My view was that I could have picked up a few thousand dollars and taken the profit, but that would not have been a life-changing win. So I let it run to try to get the maximum I could. I just had a feeling that they would carry on and win the title.”
Oakley, 36, works as a treasury analyst in software and describes himself as an occasional gambler.
He is certainly on a hot streak now, and although he says he rarely backs horses he recently won $1000 on a flutter on the nags.
He will not let the Leicester win affect his betting strategy, however.
“I will back them for the Premier League next season. They were $40 but they are now around $26. I will put about $100 on that and back them to win the Champions League as well.
“I like backing things at big odds because as we have seen anything can happen.
“I have always followed Leicester. My grandfather, Thomas Oakley started all this by taking my dad to the old Filbert Street ground for Leicester games. He came to Australia with his parents as a 12-year-old. He’s been in tears watching these games over the past six months.
“He has taken a mining job outside of Darwin at the moment, and although he knows they have won the title he is a little bit incommunicado.
“My wife (Carol) has become a massive fan, staying up late with me to watch games as well. She’s been a real champ about it all.”
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