USA gold means big payout for Kiwi punter

MICHELLE COOKE
Last updated 15:52 10/08/2012
Diana Taurasi
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IN THE MONEY: Australian center Elizabeth Cambage (L) and Australian forward Rachel Jarry (R) challenge US guard Diana Taurasi during their women's semifinal basketball game.

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If the United States women's basketball team win gold at the Olympics, a New Zealand TAB punter wins $134,000.

It's almost guaranteed that the lucky punter will turn their $5,600 multi-leg bet into $134,000, as the USA team has won gold at the last five Olympic Games.

But that punter won't be the only one taking home a large sum, as many New Zealanders are tipped to win big as our medal tally reaches 11 tonight.

New Zealand's Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie will race for gold or silver in the women's 470 class tonight (midnight NZT).

"That's a terrible result for us but a good result for punters," TAB sports bookie Paul Moate said.

A lot of people had placed bets that New Zealand would get 11 medals or more, but TAB wasn't as confident and the odds were $7.

That meant that if someone placed a bet for $100, they would get $700 in return.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people were left out of pocket after placing bets on Valerie Adams bringing home a gold.

Adams was third most popular out of TAB Olympic bets placed on New Zealand medal hopefuls. Rowers Mahe Drysdale and the men's pair of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray were ahead of her.

The largest return was set to go to the punter who placed a multi-leg bet on 10 games, including the USA v France basketball game on Sunday morning (NZT).

They also bet on New Zealander's Bond and Murray winning gold in the men's pair and Great Britain taking home the gold in the women's double sculls. All of their bets, apart from the remaining basketball game, have resulted in gold medals.

Most of the athletes the bets were placed on were hot favourites, but some paid out more than others.  While USA's Christian Taylor paid out about $2.35, Bond and Murray only paid out about $1.17, Moate said.

It was unusual for a punter to bet on different games, as multi-leg bets usually involved the same sport, TAB spokesman Grant Nisbett said.

The punter bet $5,600 on ten legs. The prize money was multiplied each time a new gold was secured, which meant the punter would win more money than if they bet individually.

Even if USA loses the game, they were still guaranteed some prize money, Moate said.

The punter's nine winning legs so far:

New Zealand - Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, gold for men's rowing pair.

Germany - Men's rowing eight.

Great Britain - Alistair Brownlee, men's triathlon.

Great Britain - women's double sculls.

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Great Britain - women's team pursuit.

Great Britain - Jessica Ennis, heptathlon.

United States - Christian Taylor, men's triple jump.

Great Britain - Ben Ainsley, men's Finn class yachting.

Australia - Tom Slingsby, men's Laser class yachting.

- Fairfax Media

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