The bet was placed at a Betfred shop in Newcastle, but when nobody came in to claim the winnings it was assumed that the holder of the ticket did not know about the rule that if a selection doesn’t run, the favourite is substituted. And that is exactly what happened.
Staff in the shop had narrowed down the person who placed the bet to one of three women, but did not know them as regular customers. A nationwide appeal turned out to be unnecessary in the end, as 22-year-old Amber Galligan returned to the shop a week later to place another bet. She said, “I was at the counter when the assistant told me they’d been looking for me and I knew he wasn’t joking as he was so deadly serious. When he first told me that the bet had won I thought it was the place part and might have been a few hundred pounds, not hundreds of thousands of pounds.”
Amber Galligan had placed the bet for her father, Thomas, a former builder’s labourer, who had to give up work through arthritis. He had watched the racing as the Scoop6 unfolded at Ayr and Ascot. He explained, “I don’t bet during the week but do the Scoop6 when I can afford it on a Saturday. I thought my first horse Vocational had got beat and then I watched as the next five won. I know there were 568 tickets going into the last race at Royal Ascot and only one on Dandy Boy, but I never realised I was the winner as I thought I was out in leg one.” In fact, Vocational was a non runner, and so Galligan had race favourite Angels Will Fall running - and winning - for him.
The Galligan’s plan to move from their council house and take the full family on a holiday with his winnings of £394,487.
Betfred boss Fred Done was glad the search was over. He said, “We’re all delighted that we’ve finally found Thomas as the amount he’s landed really will change his life for the better. I’d like to thank my shop staff and area managers for being so alert, otherwise Thomas might still not know that he was sitting on a fortune.”