One punter is adamant he is owed £5 million from a bookmaker after placing a bet on Liverpool to win the Champions League.
Darren Hope claims he went into a BoyleSports in Coventry and placed a £20 bet. He says that on May 3 2019, after the first legs of the Champions League semi-finals, he placed the following selections (odds are according to Mr Hope himself):
- Liverpool to beat Barcelona 4-0 (400/1)
- Spurs to beat Ajax (18/1)
- Liverpool to beat Spurs in the final (35/1)
He says he wrote the selections on a slip, handed over the £20 and wrote his contact details on it.
“I went to collect my winnings on June 2, the day after the final, and was told they couldn’t pay it from there,” Darren told the Birmingham Mail. “I put my name, address and phone number on the slip, signed it, and gave it the woman. People have said I was stupid to hand over the slip, but what else was I supposed to do?”
“At 8pm that night I got a call from BoyleSports. The man confirmed to me I’d won, asked for my bank details, gave me a transaction number – 320536809, and said it would take 90 days for the money to become available. I was in very high spirits.
“I waited until September 25 and looked at my bank account and the money wasn’t there.
“We are talking about a multi-billion pound company, so it’s peanuts to them. It’s a breath of fresh air to them. I’d be living in a new house if I had that money. I even went to a Ford garage to order a Mustang. I feel very let down.
“This has caused me a lot of stress, a lot of sleepless nights. I feel betrayed.”
Darren contacted Action Fraud but they weren’t able to help, suggesting the shop wasn’t even open until months after he allegedly placed the bet.
“(We have been) provided with details of your complaint against Boylesports and your follow up correspondence with Action Fraud,” they replied.
“Unfortunately, I have contacted Boylesports and they have confirmed that they did not open a betting shop in Coventry until November, 2019. I regret that we cannot progress your complaint against the company any further.”
He then took matters into his own hands and staged a one-man demonstration at the shop. The police were then called.
“The attendant said they didn’t know anything about it,” said Mr Hope. “In the end, the attendant was starting to get angry and called police – five came in.
“One pushed me in the back and I told him there was no need for that. He said, ‘you can’t do this in here’ and I asked, ‘can you blame me, what am I supposed to do?’ ‘Use the system,’ he replied.”
But Darren isn’t giving up hope and will settle for just half of the £5 million now.
“Surely they only have to study CCTV from the shop?” he said. “That, at least, would show me making the bet and going in to collect my winnings. It’s common logic.”
“This bet still remains unresolved and you therefore still owe me the winning money.
“I am prepared to accept a settlement amount of 50 per cent. I therefore request that you contact me within the next seven days.”