A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

One Hundred Today!

Congratulations to Alec Holden, from Epsom in Surrey, who is picking up £25,000 from bookmaker William Hill, which gave him odds of 250/1 that he would reach his century. The retired engineer, born on 24 April 1907, joked he had been "very careful" about what he had been doing recently. He placed the bet on 10 December 1997, when he was aged 90, with the thought that he "would live forever".

I think this is a nice little bet, far better than walking into the bookmakers and asking for the odds on Elvis Presley returning. But guess what? William Hill are not so cheery. A spokesman said "When we started taking these bets, 100 years old seemed to be an almost mythical landmark and we were prepared to offer massive odds. But these age wagers are starting to cost us a fortune and from now on we are going to push out the age to 110."

Cost a fortune?!? They've only paid out on three! And those can't have amounted to much, unless the other two put down whacking wagers. By raising it to 110 it is virtually impossible to win, because the odds of the person who gets to 110 actually winning is remote in the extreme because you'd have to have a vision from Heaven to know you'd get that far. Of course, we could all put a bet on, but that would only benefit William Hill et al.

So, as with many other things in life, Alec Holden will be the last to do something interesting before someone steps in to stop it.


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