I know next to nothing about soccer, so bear with me if I flub something, but a betting from the weekend was too juicy not to talk about. A woman named Tanya Hanley, a regular person just like you or me, opened a Betfair account in August specifically to place a £100 ($125) bet on Liverpool to win English soccer’s “quadruple”: the Carabao Cup, FA Cup, Premier League (EPL), and Champions League all in the same season. It was the first sports bet she has ever placed. At 3,671-1 odds, the longshot wager would pay out £367,100 ($461,600) if it hit.
Liverpool lost out on the EPL title in painful fashion on Sunday, dashing dreams of the quadruple, and scuttling Hanley’s bet. And while Sunday’s action on the pitch was one of the biggest sports stories of the weekend, Hanley’s wager also drew attention, partially because of how close she was getting to winning it, and partially because Betfair offered her a lot of money to cash out early, which she rejected.
Liverpool entered Sunday one point behind Manchester City in the EPL standings and six goals behind in goal differential (which serves as a tiebreaker). Teams get three points for a win and one for a draw, so Liverpool almost certainly needed a win a Manchester City loss to claim the title.
Heading into its match against Wolverhampton, Liverpool at already won the Carabao Cup and FA Cup and Betfair made Hanley an early cash out offer: take £22,712 ($28,550) guaranteed now so she didn’t have to risk losing the entire bet.
On Sunday morning Betfair offered two deals. The first was to cash out for £35,000 ($44,000), while the second was only for £25,000 ($31,400), but also an additional £100,000 ($125,700) if Liverpool did end up winning the EPL and Champions League.
Hanley declined them both, trusting that her team would come through.
Betfair kept adjusting the offer as the matches were in progress. At halftime of both contests, Liverpool was tied and Manchester City was down 1-0 to Aston Villa, resulting in a new cash out offer of £62,317 ($78,300).
City then went down 2-0 and though Liverpool was still tied, Betfair upped the offer to £95,000 ($120,000) with only about 20 minutes remaining in both games. Hanley wouldn’t budge.
And then the unthinkable happened. In a five minute span, Manchester City scored three goals and went on to win the match. It didn’t matter that Liverpool scored twice in the waning minutes to win its match. Man City had won the EPL and Hanley’s bet was toast.
I can totally understand not cashing out, but man, today has got to be a painful day for Tanya Hanley. That much money right there for her to grab if she wanted it, but she pressed her luck and hit a whammy.