Homeless Kiwi scoops a million bucks on Melbourne Cup
‘Robert’ is going to buy a house with his winnings.
Trainer Sam Freedman and jockey Mark Zahra celebrate after their horse Without A Fight won the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse on November 7. Picture: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images
The Melbourne Cup in Australia last week produced its usual melee of folklore. This time one of the more entertaining stories comes from neighbouring New Zealand, across the Tasman Sea.
A homeless man in the city of Wellington won NZ$106,000 (R1.17-million) for correctly predicting the order of the first four horses home (a Quartet bet in South Africa) in Australia’s most famous horserace – traditionally run on the first Tuesday in November. His outlay was NZ$5 (about R55).
The man, who only wished to be referred to as Robert, told the New Zealand Herald newspaper his winnings would go towards a deposit for a new house. He had been living rough in a garage for nine months.
Drinks and flowers
Robert struck the bet while drinking with a group of friends in a working men’s club in Petone, Wellington, and discovered he had landed the bet when smoking a cigarette in the garden bar.
He celebrated the life-changing win by buying drinks for his mates and the club gave him a celebratory bunch of flowers.
“It was quite, quite an emotional process, mate,” the man told the New Zealand Herald. “I couldn’t believe it, and I thought to myself, there must be something wrong here.
“So, I went into my easybets and realised that there was a green tick next to my $5 first four easybets with $106,000. I’ve gone from being homeless, sitting in a garage, to finally being able to afford a deposit on a house now.”
Without a Fight
Last Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup was won by 7-1 chance Without A Fight, with Soulcombe (17-12) getting second, Sheraz (150-1) third and Ashrun (25-1) fourth.
TAB, New Zealand’s largest pool betting firm, said it recorded record turnover on the Cup meeting, with NZ$28.4-million staked.
In Australia, one of the biggest wins to reach the news was a Win bet on Without A Fight, which netted A$900,000 (R10.7-million) for a $100,000 (R1.2-million) outlay.