Lucky U.K. Gambler Turns $1 Bet into $2 Million Win

A lucky gambler has made 1 million pounds (about $1.97 million) from a 50 pence — or 98 U.S. cent — bet, British bookmaker William Hill said Saturday.

The man, who William Hill has not identified, correctly guessed the outcome of eight horse races Friday, beating odds of 2 million-to-one.

He walked into a William Hill branch in the north England town of Thirsk and placed wagers on eight horses in eight different contests in a so-called "accumulator bet," the company said.

His first win came when a horse called "Isn't That Lucky" won the 2:55 p.m. race at the Sandown track, southwest of London. By the time "A Dream Come True" crossed the finish line at the Wolverhampton racecourse in central England later that evening, the man had won 1 million pounds, or nearly $2 million.

William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe says the man was oblivious to his win when he came to a different William Hill branch Saturday to place more 50 pence bets. Sharpe said the man had not won any of Saturday's wagers, losing 2.50 pounds — just less that $5.

"If he does it another 400,000 times we'll have it all back," Sharpe said.

William Hill PLC, one of the biggest players in Britain's gambling industry, operates more than 2,000 betting shops across the country.