A Leicester City fan who stood to make £100,000 if they won the Premier League has accepted £29,000 from the bookies – because he couldn’t enjoy watching them play.
John Pryke, 59, from Leicester Forest East, placed the speculative £20 bet on a whim with Ladbrokes last August after “fancying the look” of the 5,000-1 odds.
The Foxes are now sitting three points clear at top of the league with just ten games to play.
But he has decided to cash in the bet and accept £29,000 from the bookies – meaning he will lose a whopping £71,000 if they win the league.
Despite facing a big loss, John, who runs a care agency with his wife Julie, 55, said he will still be celebrating if Leicester clinch the title.
The dad-of-three, who has been supporting Leicester for over 45 years, said: “I put the bet on before the season as a laugh but the nearer it gets to the end of the season the more I’m thinking about the money and less about the team.
“I couldn’t bear it any more so before the West Bromwich Albion game I called Ladbrokes to see how much they would give me if I cashed in the bet early and they offered £16,000.
“I said no but after the last match Ladbrokes upped their offer to £29,000.
“It was like being on Deal or No Deal and I just thought to myself that £29,000 isn’t a bad return on £20 but if I walk away with nothing I’ll be kicking myself.
“I want to enjoy watching the team for the rest of the season and I don’t want the thought of the money niggling away spoiling my enjoyment.
“My wife said the money will be going towards a new kitchen and doing the floors out of our house. My son didn’t want me to cash it in but it’s my decision at the end of the day.
“I won’t be upset at all if Leicester win the title, I want them to do it. If they do I’ve watched my team lift the trophy and made £29,000 which isn’t a bad outcome is it?”
In fact, John also faces picking up an extra £4,000 if Leicester finish in the top three after placing a £10 bet on 400-1 odds.