A Melbourne Cup bettor has learned the hard way that ‘friends’ on social media don’t always match the textbook definition.
A women from Perth, Australia identified only as Chantelle is having her 15 minutes of global fame after she posted a winning ticket from Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup race to her Facebook page, only to have one of her ‘friends’ cash the ticket before she could.
Chantelle scored $825 by backing 100:1 shot Prince of Penzance and was so excited she promptly took a selfie in which she held the ticket up by her face. However, she neglected to edit out the ticket’s bar code before posting the image to her Facebook account.
Within 15 minutes of Chantelle’s post, some alert observer spotted her gaffe, downloaded the photo to their mobile device then scanned it at an automated machine, which dutifully paid out as programmed. Chantelle discovered the heist when she went to the TAB window, only to be told the prize had already been claimed.
Chantelle subsequently made a second Facebook post, calling out the thief as a “low life” and a “massive dick” who “ruined my day.” Chantelle told radio station Triple M that both her Facebook account and those of the two friends she’d tagged in the photo were set to private, meaning one of their collective ‘friends’ was the culprit.
Western Australia police have reportedly identified the machine at which the purloined ticket was redeemed, which will probably also give them some visual evidence as to the culprit’s identity.
MORE WINNERS AND ONE BIG LOSER
For the most part, Aussie bookies were celebrating Prince of Penzance’s longshot victory, although there were a few outliers. Paddy Power’s Aussie offshoot Sportsbet reported that one lucky winner picked the Melbourne Cup’s first four finishers across the line, netting a payday of over $125k from a $9 stake. A William Hill Australia punter reportedly collected $169k for his or her Prince of Penzance support.
Another winner is donating her $50,500 prize to charity. KIS-FM radio host Jane Hall, who had been given a free $500 wager by Sportsbet, said she’d picked Prince of Penzance because it was the only one with a female jockey (Michelle Payne, who made history as the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup). Hall’s winnings will go to a Melbourne-based group that provides food and shelter for the homeless.
Another unidentified punter turned his $46 wager on Prince of Penzance into over $39k. Northern Territory News reported that that the horse was a last minute addition to the punter’s boxed first four wager with Ladbrokes. The punter told the paper he’d taken his mates out for a piss-up afterward, during which he’d “put a bit of a dent” in his winnings. The punter had the following advice for future big winners: “Jose Cuervo [tequila] is not your friend.”
Finally, one TAB bettor is undoubtedly drinking for altogether different reasons. The Herald Sun reported that the punter had a $5 multi ticket and the first three of the four wagers all came up winners. However, the punter got cold feet and opted to exercise TAB’s cash out feature, thereby collecting a $441 prize. Not a bad return on a $5 stake, but had the punter not lost their nerve, the payday for backing Prince of Penzance would have been over $138k. In this case, tequila might be your only friend.