Punter wins record return of $1.16m

Melbourne Cup day proved very profitable for one Christchurch punter.

A retired man from Bishopdale placed $120 worth of bets on Tuesday.

One of those — valued at $30 — returned a cool $1.16 million.

That worked out to be $38,939.50 for every dollar he bet.

It was the biggest single payout in New Zealand TAB recent memory, on a day on which the public also set records for highest turnover and most bets placed.

The winning bet was: first Twilight Payment or Tiger Moth, second Twilight Payment or Tiger Moth, third Prince of Arran or The Chosen One and fourth Prince of Arran or the Chosen One.

"There are always wonderful stories that emerge out of the Melbourne Cup. For this Melbourne Cup punter, a $30 bet has turned out to be life changing," TAB NZ executive chairman Dean McKenzie said.

"We’ve been back through our records and this is the biggest collect we’ve ever returned.

"Looking back as far as 2013, the next-biggest Melbourne Cup win was $364,016."

The man has been a loyal customer at the Bishopdale TAB Branch for 25 years.

"It was just surreal to see somebody win that amount of money," branch manager Kerralyn Hooper said.

"We were so excited for him. I think initially our excitement was higher than his because he was still in shock,” she said.

"I’ve been involved with the TAB for 25 years and I’ve never seen anything like it. The customer is well known to us and a really nice guy so we’re just thrilled for him."

More than 2.2 million bets were placed on Tuesday, up 9% from last year and exceeding the previous high in 2018.

The total turnover for the day was $26.6 million, while the turnover on race seven at Flemington of $11.5 million exceeded the previous highest turnover on the race of $10.3 million in 2018.

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