UK bookmakers Betfred are celebrating the 100th birthday of a loyal customer, who credits his longevity to his wagering ways.
This week marked the centenary of Betfred customer Albert ‘Bunny’ Ellis (pictured), who the staff at the company’s St Helens, Merseyside betting shop routinely find waiting outside their door on his mobility scooter when they arrive to open up at 8:30 each morning.
Bunny has been visiting the shop every day for nearly 50 years to place his wagers, leading Betfred boss Fred Done to throw Bunny a surprise birthday party for family and friends that included lots of cake and £100 worth of free bets. Done described Bunny as not only the company’s oldest customer but “a real character about St Helens.”
While Bunny has been forced to use a scooter to stay mobile, he credits his continued mental agility to his daily routine of having a flutter on the Irish lottery, greyhounds or Lucky 63 racing accumulator. Bunny said he likes to do crosswords “but it is working out the odds for my bets that keeps my mind ticking over.” Bunny estimates that he placed his first wager while still in his teens, although “it was illegal in those days.”
If you’re wondering how Bunny came by his nickname, it might have something to do with the fact that he sired eight children. In addition to boinking and betting like a champ, Bunny says he also continues to enjoy the odd tipple, although he concedes that “a couple of pints” is about his limit these days “because three has me fighting someone.” Bottom line, Bunny believes he’s “still having a good life,” especially on his special day, “with all the kisses.”
Bunny’s ongoing fondness for gambling, drinking and carrying on adds more weight to the arguments put forward by The Democracy Institute’s Dr. Patrick Basham, whose book Gambling: A Healthy Bet presented data that showed retirees who “remain active in the community and constantly engage in social activity, often, largely or exclusively through gambling, live happier and healthier lives.”