9 Football Accumulator Near Misses: So Close to Big Wins!

Written by Jamie Smith

Placing live soccer bets on a laptop

When was the last time you were tempted to pick out a football accumulator bet and put a few pounds on it?

Yes, that 200/1 payout was almost certainly in the bank from the moment the bookie took your money... Besides, even if it went down then it was only a small amount of money lost and a good bit of fun.

But... £5 every weekend over a football season adds up to £190 per year or £120,650 throughout the average adult's lifetime.

While some punters do get lucky, when it comes to football accumulators, the real winners are the bookmakers.

They make more profit from losing accumulators than any other type of bet.

Why else do you think that bookies advertise the biggest betting wins? They want to tempt more losing punters!

If you’ve blown a few quid on an unlikely accumulator recently, at least be thankful that it wasn't too painful.

Some people have been forced to endure hours of torture only to see the last game on their betting slip lose hundreds of thousands, or, in some cases, millions of pounds.

Here are a few of the unluckiest punters and their football accumulator near misses.

1. £506,000 lost by one second

Premier League referee Kevin Friend has made several enemies throughout his time.

Former Portsmouth manager Avram Grant, Cardiff City’s Dave Jones and Tony Pulis during his time at Stoke City are just a few notable examples.

Yet, Friend made an enemy like no other when he blew the whistle to confirm a 2-1 victory for Leeds United over Tottenham Hotspur back in January 2013.

An unfortunate better from Oldham, who didn’t want his name to be published, had placed a 20p accumulator made up of many unlikely results in League Cup matches.

Including Brentford to draw 2-2 with Chelsea, Oldham to claim an unlikely 3-2 victory over Liverpool and St Mirren to win against Celtic – all 3 of which he correctly predicted.

The final game on his slip was Leeds vs Tottenham, which he predicted to end as a 3-1 victory for Leeds. While Leeds taking the win came as a surprise, they struggled to find the final goal which would have confirmed the £506,000 windfall.

They would find the back of the net for a third time, as Tottenham willed their players, including goalkeeper Brad Friedel, forward for a corner in the dying seconds.

The ball fell to Rodolph Austin, who took a shot at the empty net from a distance.

It went in, but Friend had blown the whistle just one second earlier, costing the mystery punter a lot of money.

Brad Friedel, goalkeeper for Tottenham Hotspur, kneeling on a football pitch.

Brad Friedel almost won an unfortunate punter half a million pounds.

2. £187,000 lost by one goal

Factory worker Kevin Wint, 31, must’ve felt like the luckiest man in the world.

When 14 of the 15 results on his £1 accumulator came in, leaving him just 90 minutes away from a £187,000 jackpot.

The final game to be played would see Swansea visit Manchester United in the FA Cup.

Wint needing a draw to emerge victorious. Considering The Swans hadn’t claimed a victory at Old Trafford in 82 years, the odds appeared to be in his favour.

Tied at 1-1 and the final whistle looming, the money was almost in his bank account.

That is, until Wilfried Bony popped up in the 89th minute to hand Swansea a 2-1 victory, breaking the record and the unfortunate punter’s heart.

“When Bony rose to head the ball with 89 minutes already on the clock, I saw nobody was marking him,” Wint admitted. “I knew I was about to lose my money. It was cruel.”

It wasn’t all doom and gloom, though. The 14 correct predictions earned him a cool £12,000, while bookmakers Coral also arranged a VIP day out for the unfortunate punter to watch the Premier League clash between the two clubs the following week.

Goal Profits Academy is our complete football trading course. Learn how to trade, based on proven methods that we’ve been using successfully for many years.


3. £108,000 lost by narrow margins

Feeling lucky, an anonymous better from Inverness, Scotland decided to throw some money on a Premier League accumulator.

His betting slip contained 3 bets – Tottenham to beat Reading, Newcastle to draw with Everton and Arsenal to beat French club Montpellier HSC 3-1 in their Champions League group stage clash.

Tottenham claimed a 3-1 victory over Reading on the Sunday while Everton drew 2-2 with Newcastle on the Monday. 

This left a nervous 24 hours until Arsenal kicked off their European campaign.

The early stages of the game were extremely open, with Montpellier’s Younes Belhanda opening the scoring after just nine minutes, before Lukas Podolski and Gervinho scored two quick-fire goals to put Arsenal ahead.

At 2-1 after 18 minutes, the game looked like finishing at a much higher score than 3-1.

However, being forced to endure an agonising 72-minute wait, the punter watched his £108,000 profit slip away with Arsenal’s third goal nowhere in sight.

Arsenal v Montpellier in the Champions League

Arsenal failed to find a third goal against Montpellier.

4. £1,000,000 lost by one manager

David Moyes was meant to be the next Sir Alex Ferguson. Hand-picked by the legendary Scottish manager himself to take over the Manchester United hot seat back in 2013.

We all knew that Ferguson’s boots were hard to fill given that he was arguably the most successful manager of all time, but few predicted that he would be quite so terrible.

How was an unfortunate pensioner from Wales to know that Moyes would oversee the Red Devils’ worst-ever Premier League campaign?

Having bet just £1 on 15 games to be played on the third week of the 2013/14 Premier League campaign.

The unknown better was set to scoop a massive £1 million if all 15 results came in.

Amazingly14 did, and with United having picked up four points in their first two games, they appeared capable of toppling Liverpool at Anfield to produce the biggest accumulator payout of all time.

However, with Moyes struggling to spur United on, the club fell to a costly 1-0 defeat.

Thankfully, the punter still picked up £72,000 for his 14 correct predictions, but it was chump change compared to what he could have won.

Start learning how to trade football today with our complete guide to football trading. We explain how trading works and how to get started with simple strategies.

Read More about football trading

5. £1,000,000 lost by reversed result

Betting horror stories don’t get much worse than this.

Imagine being 90 minutes away from turning 1p into £1 million, only to have one of the best football squads of all time let you down…

That was reality for Simon Torres Pike, who decided to stick 1p on all eight Champions League Round of 16 matches to be played throughout the week back in 2013.

Juventus had beaten Celtic, Bayern Munich had beaten Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund drew with Shakhtar Donetsk, Real Madrid drew with Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain beat Valencia and Porto emerged victorious against Malaga.

Six results which Pike correctly predicted left just two more results to come in.

Galatasaray vs Schalke 04 and AC Milan vs Barcelona. The first was going smoothly, eventually finishing with a draw to make his correct predictions 7 out of 8.

However, he still needed Barcelona to triumph by 2 goals to nil.

The game did eventually finish with the correct scoreline. However, it was Milan who had scored twice to sink Barcelona and Pike.

Bookmakers Coral were kind enough to send the gutted football fan to Barcelona to watch the return leg at the Nou Camp, but they would have been happy to have seen the bet go against the unfortunate punter.

AC Milan v Barcelona in the Champions League

AC Milan celebrate their 2-0 victory over Barcelona 

6. £17,000 lost by a computer error

The worst part about Dougie Watson’s accumulator loss is that it wasn’t all his fault.

The 40-year-old better had gone into a William Hill store to place a 13-hold accumulator on several matches set to kick off at 1:30 pm.

However, when the cashier put the bet into the system, Mr Watson was informed that he would be unable to bet on West Bromwich Albion’s Premier League clash with Newcastle, as the match had already kicked off 3 seconds earlier.

According to the cashier, the game would be scratched off of the betting slip and the rest of his bets would go through as normal.

Match after match came in, winning Mr Watson a cool £17,000.

However, upon checking his slip he noticed that the West Brom vs Newcastle game hadn’t been removed from the slip.

With the result going against him the accumulator was lost.

Despite arguing with the shop’s manager to save his unfortunate loss, the high street chain refused to accept their error, insisting that the machine hadn’t malfunctioned.

“He asked for a copy of the betting slip to be emailed to him by the shop,” Watson said. “It clearly states the time is 13:30:03, but he quickly said he wasn’t paying out because the machine was correct to accept the bet.”

Imagine winning your bet, only for the bookies to refuse to pay out! Even when you win, you can sometimes lose as these unfortunate punters found out.


7. £1,000,000 lost by wrong betting slip

Practice makes perfect, they say, but a lack of experience cost 19-year-old Jordan Donnellan an astonishing amount of money.

The teenager spent Sunday evening partying with his friends and family in the pub after Juventus beat Catania to see all 14 of his predictions come in on a 14-team accumulator.

Landing him what he believed to be a life-changing £1 million.

However, upon entering his local Ladbrokes store on Monday morning to collect his winnings, Mr Donnellan was informed that he had actually won absolutely nothing.

The youngster had predicted all 14 scores correctly.

However, he had filled in the Weekend Result Rush coupon, which requires both teams to score in each match, rather than a Weekend Quickslip, therefore voiding his win.

Ladbrokes spokesman David Williams stated, “It’s rather like buying a UK lottery ticket then spotting that your numbers have come up on the Australian lotto.”

Football accumulators are hugely popular, but how do they work? We explain how football acca bets work and how to calculate accumulator odds.


8. £49,000 lost by toddler

Everyone knows that smartphones and children are a bad mix.

If they aren’t blowing thousands of pounds on virtual currencies, they’re cashing out your accumulator bets prematurely, losing you a lot of money in the process.

Gary Walter, a 24-year-old father of two from Birmingham, was silly enough to leave his phone on the back seat of the car next to his 3-year-old toddler, Archie.

Earlier that day Mr Walter had placed a 13-team acca which was set to win him almost £50,000 if all of his predictions landed.

With 3 correct scores already in and a cash-out value of just £7, Archie, unsurprisingly, pressed the biggest, brightest button that he could see – cash-out.

With 10 games still to play, the accident didn’t seem quite so bad, but as results continued to go his way, or, at this point, against him, Mr Walter realised that he had missed out on a whopping £48,993.

Gary Walter's 3-year-old son cashed-out his potential £50,000 accumulator.

Gary's son cashed-out his potential £50,000 accumulator.

9. £2,499.55 lost on early cash-out

If you think Gary Walter’s early cash-out was unfortunate, this anonymous punter’s cash-out was extremely premature.

At the start of the season, the mystery better had placed 50p on Leicester City to win the Premier League title at 5,000/1.

Few thought Leicester City would survive in the top flight after narrowly avoiding relegation in the 2014/15 season.

However, they started life under Claudio Ranieri well with a 4-2 victory over Sunderland.

Unconvinced, the better decided to cash out for 95p, securing himself a profit of just 45p.

Wes Morgan and Claudio Ranieri lift the Premier League trophy after winning the league in 2016.

Leicester City emerged as champions in the 2015/16 Premier League campaign.

The Foxes would embark on the most unbelievable Premier League campaign in history, as Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez fired the club to glory – a victory that would have won him a far more impressive £2,500.

Jamie Smith

About the author

Jamie is a talented writer who authored a number of football betting and trading articles for the Goal Profits blog.

He joined Goal Profits in 2018 and became a key member of the team before moving on to pursue other opportunities in 2020.

Goal Profits

Are you ready to learn how profitable football trading works, generate a second income, or simply improve on past returns?