He bet his life
I just find this story charming. A British man made $8,191 today by winning a bet. He didn’t bet on horse racing or poker or blackjack. No, this terminal cancer patient made a bet three years ago that he would live to see this day.
In 2006, 59-year-old Jon Matthews was diagnosed with cancer. He was told he had months to live. He was willing to bet on it. Matthews believed a wager might give him an extra incentive to fight the illness.
He called a well-known British bookmaker, William Hill, and asked if he could make a bet on his life. The company agreed. Matthews made two bets of 100 pounds each at odds of 50/1 that he would still be alive on June 1, 2008 and June 1, 2009. He collected the first payout last year. From BBC News:
Mr Matthews said: “I think I’m the first person in the world to bet on my own life.
“When I was diagnosed I was told mesothelioma was a death sentence.
“I wasn’t that fussed because everyone has to die some time.
“But the interesting thing for me was how long it would take – would it take weeks or years?”
Matthews plans to give most of his winnings to charities, including cancer research.
A spokesman for William Hill says the bet is a first, but “never in 30 years in the business have I been so pleased to pay a winning client 10,000” pounds.
Oh, and he might have to pay another 10,000 on June 1, 2010. Matthews made a third wager at 100-1.
I wouldn’t bet against him.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.