Betfred regular Mike Thomas won big on the record-breaking Nando Parrado at Royal Ascot – and celebrated with a pint of Guinness and a cigar!

Mike, a 60-year-old father of ten with five grandchildren, has given credit for his 150/1 triumph to Betfred TV presenter Paul Rickerby.

The lucky punter revealed he was in the Betfred shop on Erskine Street in Hulme, Manchester, pondering his selections for the Coventry Stakes on Saturday when he overheard Paul previewing the race.

Mike said: “I was going to go on something else, but then I heard this fella on the TV saying how last time out Nando Parrado had been boxed in, and that it was overpriced at 150/1.

“So, I changed my mind and went £10 each-way on the eventual winner.

That decision meant Mike (pictured), from Chorlton, bagged a tasty £1,820.

“I’m over the moon,” he continued. “It’s the biggest win I’ve ever had. Once the money is in the bank, I’ll be treating myself to a cigar and a pint of Guinness.

“During lockdown, when I couldn’t come to the shop where the staff are fantastic, I’ve been reading my bible a lot – so maybe there has been some divine intervention.

“I tell you what, I said a little prayer Saturday night.”

Paul said: “It was just far too big a price and I knew that. It’s nice to be right for once, and congratulations to Mike for listening!

“If you throw enough darts, one of them is bound to stick.”

Nando Parrado – named after a Uruguayan TV presenter who survived the Andes plane crash in 1972 – was the biggest-priced winner in Royal Ascot’s illustrious history.

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