H&H readers will know that spending money is often a lot easier than making money when it comes to horses. But it was thanks to our four-legged friends that a pensioner managed to turn 20p into almost half a million pounds.

The retired accountant, who wishes to remain anonymous, placed a total of £2 worth of bets across seven horses running at Lingfield, Doncaster and Newbury on Friday (3 March).

The life-long racing fan was totally unaware of the scale of the win until he received a phone call from Ladbrookes congratulating him on winning £457,067.52.

“I checked a couple of the early results on my tablet but then after seeing one of them had lost I thought I might have only been on for a couple of places so didn’t bother to see how the rest of the horses had got on,” he said.

“The next thing I knew, someone from Ladbrokes was phoning me to congratulate me for winning nearly half a million quid and to ask how I’d like the money and I had no idea what he was talking about.

“I was completely speechless and I think it’s going to take a few days to sink in properly.”

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The win came from a 10p each way six-fold accumulator on seven horses. But after one of his chosen horses, Bendomingo, lost at Newbury, he “did not get round to checking” the other results.

The punter, who won £28k 20 years ago, said he did not have “any particular reason” for choosing the seven horses in his accumulator.

I’ve followed horse racing all my life since my uncle taught me how to bet 50 years ago,” he said.

“He’s not here any more but he’s the first person I’ll be thanking.

“I’m still not sure how I’ll spend the money, but my son and two daughters and their eight grandchildren will all get a share. I can hear them on the phone already.”

The win is Ladbrokes’ biggest racing payout of the year so far and is thought to be one of the biggest from a stake of less than £1 across UK bookies.

Alex Donohue, of Ladbrokes, said the company “couldn’t be happier” to pay the winnings to a life-long racing fan.

“We’re sure from now he’ll follow racing results more closely as they come in!”

“It might have taken half a century, but we bet our man is glad his uncle showed him the ropes all those years ago.”

The bet in full was as follows:

1.50 Doncaster – Monfass 12/1 (price taken 11/1) Won
2.10 Newbury – Dinsdale 6/1 (price taken 10/1) Won
3.40 Lingfield – Peal Spectre 10/1 (price taken 16/1) Won
4.10 Lingfield – Boater 15/2 (price taken 7/1) Won
4.20 Newbury – Bendomingo Lost
4.55 Newbury – Wishicould 14/1 (Price taken 16/1) Won
5.05 Doncaster – Mcvicar 12/1 (Price taken 13/2) Won
10p each way 6 fold returns £457,067.52