Punter won £1million on the horses after losing tragic teenage son to cancer

A punter bagged £1million on the horses after tragically losing his 18-year-old son to cancer.

Geoff, 51, from Bootle, Merseyside, pocketed the "life-changing" sum at the start of 2021 thanks to one lucky race.

He was crowned the winner of Paddy Power's Millionaire Chase, a scheme which punters qualified for by placing winning bets on assigned horse races.

His luck with the horses culminated in him being assigned Langer Dan at 5/1 at the Imperial Cup in March 2021, in what was the last leg of the Millionaire Chase.

Langer Dan stormed to victory, and Geoff pocketed £990,000.

Geoff said: “Paddy [Power] called me and said what’s it like to be a millionaire? I said, you didn’t make me one. You’ve only made me a £990,000-aire! But thank you, that’s good enough!”

He was given the other £10,000 for qualifying for the final, but had blown through that by the time it came around.

Geoff was actually meant to find out if he had won the big prize on New Year's Day, but Paddy Power were forced to reschedule three times as miserable weather saw the races cancelled.

Speaking about what the money would mean to him, Geoff said: "It’s amazing what it’ll do for our life.

"We lost our son eight years ago to cancer, he was just 18-years-old.

"And what’s been really nice, given what’s happened to us as a family, with my son passing away, is that people say it couldn’t have happened to a nicer couple. Which is so nice to hear.

"This is a life-changing amount of money and it felt like it was just meant to be."

Although Geoff is an avid fan of the races he admitted that he isn't usually the most successful punter, joking: "I couldn’t pick my nose normally!"

Discussing what he spent the money on, Geoff revealed he was able to buy his other son a car as he'd just passed his driving test.

"And of course, we’ve been able to help some family members out too which was really nice – and that’s what the money has allowed us to do, it’s great we can do things like that."

The family jetted off abroad when Covid restrictions allowed, but the lavish beach lifestyle and swanky hotels weren't exactly what Geoff expected.

He explained: "As soon as lockdown finished the summer last year, we flew down to Majorca for a long weekend away.

"And then we went on a back-to-back holiday to different resorts in October in Majorca with some family.

"This time we went a bit more luxurious to see how the other half live and to be honest, it wasn’t really us!"

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