First-time gambler hits jackpot

08 April 2012 - 02:16 By SHANAAZ EGGINGTON

The odds are highly stacked against anyone winning their first-ever bet.

But Stormers fan Dominique Dhotman is celebrating after pocketing R5000 in his first gamble with Lady Luck.

Dhotman was one of 50 South African rugby fans who sahred winnings of R600000 on a betting site

The multiple bet, with odds of 100-1, required punters to correctly predict the outcome of four different games in week five of the 2012 Super Rugby competition.

The bet required the Sharks to score first with a try against the Waratahs, the Bulls to score first with a penalty against the Reds, the Stormers to score first with a try against the Lions, and the Cheetahs to win or lose by less than 16.5 points.

Incredibly, all four predictions were realised, igniting huge excitement among winners.

Sedley Barr, chief bookmaker at a Cape Town-based online betting site, said the win was similar to winning the lottery in the sports- betting world.

"Our biggest winner bet R700 and won R70000; another one bet R500 and claimed R50000. Several put down R200 or less, each winning 100 times what they had bet," Barr said.

Dhotman, from Cape Town, said he decided to try his luck after following Twitter discussions about the bet.

"I thought, 'Why not?' I decided to bet R50. That's about the price of two beers. Then, as I watched the games, I could not believe what I was seeing. It was just incredible."

He said he would treat his wife to a spa day with some of his winnings. "I've got to make her happy. A happy wife means that I will be allowed to watch more rugby this weekend."

But he has no plans to gamble with bigger stakes in the future. "Winners know when to stop."

Sports betting is the only legal form of online gambling in South Africa.

Barr said that the digital era had seen sports betting become a form of entertainment for a much younger set of tech-savvy sports lovers, both male and female.