Terminally Ill Man Picks a Winner: Himself

At 50-1 odds, British cancer patient has won $16K betting he'll live
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2009 3:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – A terminally ill British man collected about $8,200 today after betting he’d stay alive, the BBC reports. After being diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer in 2006 and told he had just months left, 59-year-old Jon Matthews made £100 bets he’d stick around until June 1, 2008, and June 1, 2009—at 50-1 odds. He’ll double his money if he lives until this date next year.

“I think I’m the first person in the world to bet on my own life,” Matthews says. Adds a spokesman for the bookmaker, “Never in 30 years in the business have I been so pleased to pay a winning client £10,000, with, I trust, a further £10,000 to come next year,” Matthews says he plans on donating most of the money to cancer charities.