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The idea of strolling down to the local bookmaker, putting down a casual bet on an extremely unlikely event and ending up 'quids in' when it actually happens may be the stuff of dreams for most of us. That's precisely why we personally recommend matched bets as a much more realistic and reliable way to bolster your bank account!

However, it's not unheard-of for a pure gamble to bring juicy winnings - just try these past examples for size.

A 50p stake brings a whopping £1 million

Yorkshireman Fred Craggs probably wasn't expecting much from his eight-horse accumulator in 2008, given the meagre 50p he staked on it.

However, choosing his horses on the basis of their names - Isn't That Lucky, Racer Forever and A Dream Come True - at Sandown, Wolverhampton and Dubai respectively didn't work out too badly, with all three of them tasting glory despite 2,000,000/1 odds. It allowed Craggs to celebrate his 60th birthday in almost the best possible way.

Half a million from Dettori's magical Ascot

Few people could begrudge the well-liked Italian-born jockey's seven wins in a single day at Ascot in 1996 - least of all the lucky Morecambe punter Darren Yeats, who pocketed £550,000 from his £59 bet on the 25,000/1 feat.

Coventry last gasp nets an unexpected £650k

This is a complicated one, which helps to explain the healthy £650,000 winnings that it generated for one London football fan whose £100 bet proved well-spent. In a demonstration of just how lucrative a successful accumulator bet can be, the fan made no less than eight selections on the outcomes of Saturday afternoon kick-offs in late 2014, when they were just 20 minutes away from concluding.

They included a bet on Arsenal to beat Burnley at 13/20, with the score then at 0-0, as well as on Stoke to draw at home to West Ham, despite the former team then leading by two goals to nil - with odds of 18-1 for that one alone.

Of course, it all came together in the end, but only when Coventry City's Jim O'Brien scored in the 91st minute to earn the Sky Blues a point against Leyton Orient. The final return was a princely £654,203.90. It prompted William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly to (probably accurately) observe: "This is an absolutely astounding sum of money and there were so many late twists and turns that our punter must have experienced a gamut of emotions before Jim O'Brien bagged the huge wager with his late strike."

In case you're wondering, the incredible occurrence overcame odds of 6542/1.

Sometimes, you only need 30p to win big

If the above win sounds improbable enough, what about a £500,000 win from a mere 30p bet? Again, it was one of those darned accumulators that was responsible - a 15-event one on this occasion, for an unnamed Staffordshire-based Manchester United fan who landed the monumental cash prize when Bayern Munich beat Valencia on penalties in the 2001 Champions League Final.

That staggering achievement came just a few years after that same man took home £157,000 from a £2.50 accumulator after Manchester United won the Champions League themselves. It's surely the ultimate evidence that life just isn't fair.

Don't be misled by stories of bumper windfalls!

Of course, as tempting as it is to read such tales of monster betting wins and think, "I could do that", in truth, these are the most extreme exceptions rather than the norm. This is why we would always urge those wanting to add thousands of their own bank accounts to do so via matched bets - a truly risk-free way of betting that takes chance out of the equation altogether.

Join Profit Accumulator now to find out just how easy it is to start generating predictable winnings from matched betting, even if you have never before dabbled in sports betting!