Lifestyle & Belief

Dead bachelor's bet on Federer results in windfall for Oxfam


Roger Federer celebrates match point during his semi-final match against Novak Djokovic.


Clive Rose

A bet placed on the Swiss tennis champion Roger Federer nearly a decade ago has finally come good for Oxfam.

The BBC explains that in 2003 Nick Newlife from the UK bet the equivalent of about US$2,360 that Federer would win seven Wimbledon titles by 2019.  The odds were 66/1 and would result in a payout of over US$155,000.

But Mr Newlife never got to reap the benefits of his foresight.  He died a bachelor in 2009 and left his entire estate including the 2003 betting slip to Oxfam, AFP explains.

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"All of Oxfam have been cheering Federer's progress for the past couple of weeks," Oxfam's Andrew Barton is quoted as saying. 

Indeed, when Federer beat Britain's Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 in the Wimbledon final last Sunday, Federer joined Pete Sampras and William Renshaw as a seven-time Wimbledon champion, and Oxfam prepared itself for the payout.

Civil Society News reports that the win is enough to feed 10,000 people affected by the food crisis in West Africa for one month.

"Normally we’d have mixed feelings about paying out such a hefty six-figure sum, but in this instance it seems that it was meant to be, and we are delighted that a sad story has had a very positive conclusion,” Graham Sharpe, from William Hill, who took the bet reportedly said.

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Oxfam has already picked up about US$25,990 from another bet by Newlife that Federer would win 14 Grand Slam events.   The Wimbledon triumph on Sunday was number 17.

"The real hero is Mr Newlife, for his generous gift and his tremendous sporting acumen," Barton also said.