EXPIRED: 05/07/10 – Jon Matthews, 60, won £10,000 British ($16,700 US) by gambling that he could stay alive even though he had terminal cancer. He died just weeks short of cashing in on even more winnings.
Matthews, from a suburb just north of London, was diagnosed with mesothelioma – a cancer linked to asbestos – in April of 2006. He was hold by his doctors that he wouldn’t live to see 2007.
Now most of us would go and put our things in order, say good bye to our loved ones or maybe try to accomplish a few of the remaining things on our “bucket list.”
But instead, Matthews went to his local bookie, William Hill, and placed a £100 bet with 50-1 odds that he’d still be around on June 1, 2008.
He cashed in £5,000 when he made it.
So he did what all good gamblers do. He bet again. Same amount. Same odds. And on June 1, 2009, he cashed in another £5,000.
This time the odds went up. Odds were 100-1 on living another 12 months. So he placed another £100-pound bet. And if he survived another few weeks, he would have pocketed another £10,000.
“When he first approached us about it I was in two minds and thought we’d be accused of doing something in bad taste,” said a representative for the William Hill bookmakers agency, “but it gave him an incentive to keep on battling through the disease. Never in 30 years in the business have we been so pleased to pay out to a winning client.”
The longest mesothelioma case lasted 25 months after diagnosis. Jon Matthews has had his cancer for well over 40 months, well past his expected expiry date.
And those winnings?
You can bet that he had planned to donate most of it to cancer charities.