Thatcham man - "Britain's unluckiest punter" - misses out on £10m
Dubbed ‘Britain’s unluckiest punter’, Joe McGuire (pictured right), aged 59, of Crowfield Drive, lost out on being the biggest-ever betting shop winner after his last horse of the day – Escape to Glory – was beaten in the final furlong.
The former jump jockey-turned-decorator, who previously worked at the Saxon House and Rhonehurst stables of trainer Oliver Sherwood at Lambourn - missed out on winning the Scoop6 jackpot on Saturday by a matter of just a few inches after correctly predicting the first five winners of a pool bet, only to see Escape To Glory, who was priced in betting odds of 1/100, finish in second place.
Mr McGuire described to the NWN this week how he placed his modest £8 bet at Ladbrokes in Crown Mead, Thatcham. He picked his horses running at Newbury, Newmarket and Thirsk, by chance and not much else.
“Placing a bet is just something I do every week,” said Mr McGuire. “A few had good form so I just went with my gut feeling.”
With his betting slip safe in his pocket, Mr McGuire went about his usual routine of walking the dogs, only occasionally catching up on how his predictions were faring.
“Eventually I realised I had four winners,” he said. “Then I heard that I had a fifth, and I knew that I had another to go.
“It was only then that I started to get excited and thought I was going to win.”
However, Lady Luck left him when Escape to Glory, a sure-fire winner in Mr McGuire's mind, passed the finishing post in second place.
He said: “Everyone expected my horse to win.
“That should have been a certainty, but it was not meant to be.”
However, all was not completely lost. Escape to Glory’s second place helped to earn Mr McGuire £1,700.17 on the day. He added: “It was enough to get me out for an Indian (meal) that night, but it doesn’t last long.
“It’s hard to explain how I’m feeling now. I’m never going to have that chance again.
“I’m absolutely gutted, but that’s life.”
Contemplating what could have been, he added: “If I had won, I would never have spent another winter in this country – I would definitely have bought a place abroad.
More than 250,000 punters tried their luck, hoping to become an instant millionaire by landing the biggest pot in racing history.
A clean sweep wins all, or a share, of the jackpot which rolls over if no-one wins.