Kieran Dawson, a delivery driver from Gloucester, England, placed a five-pound punt on a football accumulator/parlay worth £26,414 this past weekend.
He was relying on the world’s best player, Cristiano Ronaldo, and his team Juventus to score a goal in the second half of their fixture against Roma.
To win the bet, Mr. Dawson required a goal to be scored in each half of the top-twenty European football fixtures. This included nine English Premier League games, two from the Scottish Premier League, three from Germanys Bundesliga, one from the Netherlands Eredivisie, and five fixtures from the Italian Serie A.
All but one fixture had followed Mr. Dawson’s prediction, leaving one game in the Serie A between Juventus and Roma to pull through and help secure the football fan a big fat cheque.
We can only imagine the nerves Mr. Dawson felt heading into the late-night fixture in Italy. An eventful first half with a 2-1 scoreline favouring Roma must have eased the tension – that was until a dreaded red card was shown to Juventus on the 62nd minute of the game. Historically, red cards have often stirred managerial tactics to a more defensive style, almost turning the respective game into a stalemate. However, this was not the case when the best player in the world is on the pitch.
A mere 8-minutes after the second-half red card, Cristiano Ronaldo did not just win Mr. Dawson a five-figure pay-out, but he also went viral for the emphatic equalising goal he scored.
Ronaldo’s headed goal vs Roma
Roma’s Jordan Veretout put the home side in the lead, with the man himself responding with a spot-kick. This was not enough to keep Juventus level as the home side converted a penalty kick of their heading into half-time.
Juventus fans and Mr. Dawson had nothing to fear with Ronaldo leading them into the second half of action, why? Because the five-time Ballon d’Or winner gave us another viral moment for football history books.
Juventus picked the pace up down the right flank with Danilo collecting the ball from Douglas Costa, before eventually swinging a beautifully crossed ball to Ronaldo on the six-yard line.
The Portuguese star then went on to defy science and the laws of physics by hanging in the air like he was assisted with ropes, placing the ball in the back of the net with his head.
It’s now confirmed, eerily reminiscent of Ronaldo’s header against Sampdoria last season and some of his early headed goals at Manchester United, Ronaldo can be labelled as one most fantastic aerial striker’s in history.
The 25k bet cashes
The 69th minute heading spectacle did not just secure Juventus an away point at Roma but also helped Mr Dawson in landing his extravagant gamble.
Mr. Dawson told the press: “The feeling hadn’t sunk in until now.
“Now the bet has been settled, it’s in my account, and I’ve withdrawn the majority of it, it’s just been an array of emotions to be quite honest.
“Now the money is in my account, and I can now start to think about what I’m going to spend it on.”
While the late game took place on Sunday night, Kieran and his friends watched the action live in a group chat: “That evening it came down to the Roma vs Juventus game, and at that time I was at my partner’s house. I was on a call to my friends as they knew that the bet was still alive, and they were all rooting for me.
“Roma won a penalty and went ahead after 30 minutes and by half time they were leading at half-time 2-1, so that took the bet into the second half.
“All my friends and I were all watching the game then [Edin] Dzeko missed a few sitters for Roma in the following half and then all of a sudden Juventus received a red card and then I believed the bet was finished there as I thought Roma was going to park the bus and see out the victory.
“Next thing, Ronaldo pops up with a header, and I start going mad. All my friends were pleased with me, and I went downstairs to tell my partner and her family, but it still didn’t sink in then.
“When the winnings went into my account, I started to realise that I had won a lot of money.”