World of Sport

Bookies won’t pay out granny’s Olympics bet

World of Sport

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Family pride wasn't the only reason Linda Aldred was elated to see her grandson Sam Oldham win a surprise bronze medal in men's gymnastics at the London Olympics.

The 66-year-old from Ramsgate also had made a lucrative bet before the Games began that Oldham would take home a medal.

Aldred placed a £5 bet at 200-to-1 odds with Betfred in honour of her late husband and Oldham's grandfather, Eric, whom she described as "a betting man."

She attempted to cash in her bet after the Olympics, but bookmakers said they wouldn't pay her the £1,000 she thought she was due because Oldham's medal came in the team competition rather than as an individual.

"I was stunned," Aldred told the Thanet Times. "I am really happy Sam won, it is more the principle than the money, but I could have used the winnings to pay for my ticket to see Sam at the 2016 Olympics in Rio."

It's tempting to suggest that a grandmother who has never bet before might have simply misunderstood the wager she was making, but Aldred's betting slip appears to corroborate her argument.

Nowhere on that slip does it specify that Oldham needed to capture an individual medal for her to win. The 200-to-1 odds also would be reasonable either way since a British team hadn't won a medal in men's artistic gymnastics in 100 years.

Aldred said she has taken her complaint up with The Independent Betting Adjudication Service. Whether Betfred is right or wrong, the company might be wise to pay her. The money isn't worth the bad publicity the company has received for withholding a grandmother's winnings.

Jeff Eisenberg | Fourth-Place Medal

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