by Renee Israel
Leading UK charity, Oxfam saw Andrew Murray's disappointing loss at Wimbledon
on Sunday as a giant windfall, when it cashed in on a bet made nearly a decade
ago by an avid sports fan.
Before his death in 2009, reclusive gambler Nick Newlife bequeathed a series
of betting tickets to Oxfam, one of them a £1,520 wager he made in 2003 that
Swiss tennis player,Roger Federer would win seven Wimbledon titles by 2019.
The odds on the bet in 2003 were 66/1, and Oxfam executives looked on in joy
over the past weekend as thanks to Federer's incredible performance, a slip of
paper instantly became worth over £100,000 to the charity.
Long Term Bets Made by UK Recluse
When 69-year-old Nick Newlife passed away, he bequeathed several long term
betting tickets to the charity. As he had no family or friends, he left all of
his worldly belongings to Oxfam.
His neighbours recalled how he often asked them to place bets on his behalf
as he was convinced that the bookmakers had worked out his successful betting
system and were reluctant to allow him to place bets.
"Mr Newlife came to me and got me to help him install a computer, he wanted
to place a series of long term bets," said one of his old neighbours in Tackley,
The neighbour, Gavin Cowan also recalled that the reclusive long term gambler
was already tipping British Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton to become a
world champ even before he became a big star.
"Nick said he had made predictions about several people over the years and
wanted me to lay some of his bets," said Cowan.
Winning Bets Beyond the Grave
This strange tale caught the imagination of many UK punters, and even William
Hill, the giant online and land based bookmaker issued a statement on Oxfam
winning the bet.
"This is a unique situation in my 40-year experience of the bookmaking
world," said the spokesman for William Hill bookies, Graham Sharpe. "Mr.
Newlife's bet could land six figure winnings from beyond the grave, and in
sporting terms Roger Federer came back from the dead to keep the dream alive for
Oxfam and all his fans."
A spokesperson for Oxfam said that legacies amount to around 10% of the
charity's total income from individuals and as such they are essential.
"As this proves, they can come in all shapes and sizes," said the