CLIFF Bryant, from Southampton, thought that a heavy snowfall had led to a cash windfall.
Having placed two £5 accumulator bets on the odds that snow would fall on Christmas Day 2009 in 24 locations, including Durham and Darlington, he was told by the bookmakers cashier that he had won a cool £7.1m.
However, his smile melted when he was informed by Ladbrokes head office that he was really due just £31.78 because according to the company rulebook this specific type of bet should never have been accepted.
Mr Bryant said: “My heart was beating so fast when I realised that my bets had all come in but then I was gutted when I found out that the bet was not valid.”
2. ADDING INSULT TO INJURY
IF it wasn’t bad enough that Sunderland lost in this year's League Cup final, a bookmaker added insult to injury for one fan.
Dan Phyall thought he had won £1,450 after Fabio Borini netted the Black Cats’ goal in the 3-1 defeat at Wembley in March.
Mr Phyall placed what he thought was a bet on the scorer of the opening goal in the Capital One Cup climax, but William Hill refused to stump up the cash after offering him odds of 145-1 for his £10 stake.
It is thought the bookie in the Trafalgar Square betting shop where Mr Phyall placed the bet may have mistakenly given odds on the scorecast for Borini to score first and Sunderland to win 1-0.
William Hill offered to pay out at odds of 16-1, meaning Mr Phyall received £160 - £1,290 less than he believed he was entitled to.
3. PROUD GRAN
THE grandmother of an Olympic gymnast was celebrating when her grandson won a medal at the 2012 Games in London.
Having placed a bet at 200-1 that Sam Oldham would grace the podium, she was over the moon when he secured bronze in the gymnastics team final alongside Louis Smith, Kristian Thomas, Max Whitlock and Daniel Purvis - the first such medal since in a bronze in 1912.
However, when 66-year-old Linda Aldred, from Ramsgate, went to cash the bet she was floored when told that the bet was void.
Bookmakers, Betfred, argued that Sam won the medal as part of a team event rather than as an individual and refused to pay out.
4. LATE GOALS
FOOTBALL fan Richard Bell was refused the £4,500 he thought he had won on a World Cup bet.
Mr Bell, from Liverpool, placed a £200 accumulator predicting who would be the top goalscorer for Spain, Argentina and Brazil in the tournament in South Africa and was under the impression he had scooped £4,571 when the bet came in.
However, bookies, William Hill said the odds on offer were pre-tournament and had changed significantly by the time Mr Bell placed his bet on June 30, more than two weeks after the tournament started. The company blamed a computer malfunction for the wrong odds being offered and added the bet was void anyway, because bets on top scorers were not allowed to be placed once the World Cup was under way.
5. ON ANOTHER PLANET
KEVIN Coakley believed William Hill were on another planet when they refused to pay out on his 1,000-1 bet that a UFO would fly over the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony.
Mr Coakley placed £1 on the wager and went back to the bookies claiming there was video evidence of an extra-terrestrial sighting over the Olympic Park in London.
However, the bookies said they could not pay out until there was official confirmation from either Prime Minister David Cameron or US president Barack Obama.
Mr Coakley missed the showpiece ceremony, but found footage on social media claiming to show a green glowing object flying over East London.
However, William Hill told Mr Coakley: "The conditions of all bets that we take are that there has to be an independent adjudicator to confirm the result before we pay out."
6. OWN GOAL
A TEENAGE barman who thought he had scooped £1m after correctly guessing the winners of 14 football matches has been told he filled in the wrong form and has won nothing.
Jordan Donnellan, 19, from Consett, County Durham, who predicted the outcome of the games at the weekend, believed his £1 accumulator had made him an overnight millionaire.
Friends celebrated his success at the pub on Sunday evening and on Monday staff at Ladbrokes in Middle Street in Consett confirmed the good news.
Mr Donnellan was told to come back later as the shop did not have that kind of money on the premises. But instead of making him a wealthy man he was given the news that his betting slip was worthless.
He later learned he had filled in a Weekend Result Rush, which requires both teams to have scored, instead of a Weekend Quickslip.
He was told he would have been entitled to "only a few hundred pounds", had he filled in the correct form, rather than the bumper jackpot he had been expecting.