A homeless man from New Zealand says he will buy a house with his winnings from a $5 Melbourne Cup bet.
Robert, who didn’t want his surname used, couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw $106,000 sitting in his TAB account on Tuesday after placing his innocuous wager the previous day.
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The man from a town near Wellington in New Zealand was having a few drinks at a pub with a group of others watching the famous race across the ditch.
He left the bar to light up a cigarette and check his account almost two hours after the race, not realising what had just happened.
Robert said he thought his eyes were deceiving him.
“It was quite, quite an emotional process, mate,” he 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.″
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Mark Zahra after the incredible win. Credit: Getty
The pub erupted into celebration for Robert, whose life changed immeasurably in an instant.
Having lived in a garage for the past nine months, he said getting a stable roof over his head was his first priority.
“I’ve gone from being homeless, sitting in a garage, to finally being able to afford a deposit on a house now,” Robert said.
According to the NZ Herald, TAB confirmed a $5 bet had resulted in a $106,000 prize, but couldn’t go into further details for privacy reason.
Jockey Mark Zahra’s huge decision to ride Without A Fight in the race that stops a nation paid off with victory in the $8.4 million classic at Flemington.
The win marked a staggering triumph after Zahra, who had the opportunity to continue on last year’s winner Gold Trip but opted against it, and trainers Anthony and Sam Freedman combined to win the Caulfield Cup with Without A Fight just three weeks ago.
Melbourne Cup winner Mark Zahra. Credit: Getty
Top trainer Chris Waller took out second and third in the Melbourne Cup through Soulcombe, who was dead last out of the gates, and Sheraz, while the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Ashrun finished fourth.
An eight-minute delay to get the 23 runners ready heightened tensions but the race began smoothly, with Serpentine the early leader from Future History and Magical Lagoon.
Vow And Declare, the 2019 winner, and Kalapour joined the trio for a breakaway pack. The field spread after the final turn and Without A Fight burst away at the 200 for what became a comfortable victory.
Without A Fight is just the 12th horse to complete the Caulfield-Melbourne double in the same year.
Sam Freedman accepted the trophy at Flemington with dad Anthony watching the race away from the track.
“Credit to the old man, he’s been incredible through this,” Sam told Racing.com of his “cool, calm and collected” father.
– With Glenn Valencich
If you’re concerned about your gambling or the gambling of a friend or family member, log on to Gambling Help Online or make contact via phone on 1800 858 858.
You can access online counselling as well as services in your state or territory and support for family and friends.
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