Winning £1 million on the horses is the stuff of dreams for most students, but for 20 year-old Megan McCann, what looked like an amazing windfall risks being turned into a nightmare.
That’s because the Northern Irish resident has entered a legal battle with the Bet365 sports betting platform over the authenticity of the win.
Bet365 believe the bet, for which £25,000 was wagered on 12 different horses in four races, was provided by a third party, and is therefore in breach of their terms and conditions. As such, Best365 has refused to pay out on the bet, and so Ms McCann is taking them to court.
She had the flutter in June 2016, and the bets were made on races at courses including Kempton, Bath and Naas. The total winnings come to £985,000, plus the original stake.
The Daily Telegraph has reported that Ms McCann has accused the company of breach of contract, and has filed a writ in Northern Ireland’s High Court. According to the publication, McCann was initially congratulated after her wager came up trumps, as the sports betting firm communicated with her via a live chat.
Following her contact with Bet365, things turned sour quickly. Bet365 conducted a process based on an identification check, after which they informed Ms McCann she could expect to receive the money. But instead of the winnings being released, Ms McCann’s account was then closed and suspended, and Bet365 accused her of trying to defraud them.
The bet itself was made in the ‘lucky 15’ format – a type of acca for which the bettor makes four separate selections, and can look forward to up to 15 payouts, in accordance with how many selections come up trumps.
The Telegraph has had access to the legal document sent from Megan McCann’s lawyers to Bet365, and the newspaper reported it said: “Our client’s case is very straightforward. She placed a bet with your client. She won. She is entitled to her winnings.”
Ms McCann’s legal team has contested the fairness of the third party rule itself, saying: “The husband who puts a bet on the winner of X-factor for his wife, or on the winner of the Grand National, would have those winnings ‘robbed’ of him.”
Meanwhile, Bet365 maintains that the winnings cannot be paid out under their rules, confirming that an investigation was held into the bet following its success.
In January of this year, a 72 year-old Scottish punter sued Coral after they refused to pay out £250,000 when Rangers were ejected from the Scottish Premier League, after the Glasgow club ran into financial trouble in 2012. Albert Kinloch had placed £100 on The Gers being relegated just a few weeks before they were kicked out of the competition. Unfortunately for Mr Kinloch, his wager at odds of 2500/1 did not pay out, as the court ruled Rangers hadn’t technically been relegated, as they didn’t drop to the Scottish Third Division due to not having enough points.