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From Hurricane Fly to Ronaldo: Find out the biggest football and racing refunds of 2013

Paddy will be glad to see the back of 2013 as some seriously dodgy decisions had punters laughing all the way to the bank. And the competition hanging their heads in shame.

by Sean Goff | December 23, 2013

2013 will be remembered for Miley Cyrus twerking, Jennifer Lawrence stacking it at the Oscars and the sad loss of Brian the dog from Family Guy.

But, much like born-again Brian, Paddy Power has lorded it over the opposition with our Money-Back Special value in the past 12 months.

  • Almost 400 Money-Back Specials clicked for punters this year
  • Paddy had to refund £1.2m in bets and left the bean counters scrambling to find an eight-figure sum down the back of the couch.

Here’s just a few of the company’s costly brain-farts that left punters quids in, the opposition on the run and Paddy secretly rehearsing for a gig on X-Factor when his year-end review hits HR. We know. We’ve been there. And anyway, they’re not back until mid-Jan.  

  • Jog on to all Paddy Power’s latest sports betting here [mobile  | desktop]


Hurricane blows Paddy away with £2.2m Cheltenham Champion Hurdle

Ruby Walsh warned Paddy he was coming to get him – but did Paddy listen? Did he, balls. After Hurricane Fly bolted up Cleeve Hill, Paddy’s decision to refund bets on the Champion Hurdle favourite was about as credible as Homeland as punters pulled his pants down to the tune of £2.2m.

Horses down but punters not out in November

A terrible idea six weeks out from Christmas. With the jumps code in full swing and trainers giving the cream of last year’s hurdling crop an eye-opener over fences refunding cash on Money-Back All Fallers made about as much sense as giving Andre Villas-Boas control of the Spurs cheque book. AVB eventually got his marching orders and Paddy came close too after 40 horses arrived at the last before sending their jockeys flying arse-over-tit and money into punters’ e-wallets.

Ronald-oh! Old Trafford winner costs Paddy €750k


The aptly named referee Cuneyt Cakr arguably cost Manchester United and Alex Ferguson a shot at Champions League glory last season, but his dodgy decision making didn’t cost Paddy Power punters. The boss had decided that if Ronaldo found the net at any time he would refund all the usual losing bets. That’s an MBS on the striker who has 227 goals in 219 appearances for Real Madrid. Great idea Paddy. Predictably CR7 bagged the winner and Paddy emptied his pockets to the tune of €750,000, the biggest football refund of 2013 (honourable mention to Arsenal who are costing us a fortune too)

Murray leaves punters minted to the tune of £2m

Forget the tears and the SPOTY award – Andy Murray’s real achievement in 2013 was putting £2m back in punters pockets. In 100 degree heat in SW19 Murray left Paddy sweating after his 3-0 rout of Novak Djokovic saw him become the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years But it wasn’t just patriotic Brits who were refunded. Anyone who backed Djokovic got cash back as did punters who backed round one and two losers Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer as Paddy went MBS all losers if the Scot won


Rooney’s late strike no consolation

Paddy Power was looking pretty smug 85 minutes into September’s Manchester Derby. He’d offered to refund losing bets if Sergio Aguero or Wayne Rooney scored the last goal of the game. It was a mental offer but everything was looking rosy for Paddy as City were 4-0 up and the last scorer was Samir Nasri. That was until Wayne Rooney popped up with a consolation for United fans and a kick to the balls for Paddy. The striker’s late strike did nothing to effect the result but it did cost the boss close to half a million pounds and left him licking his wounds after one of the biggest payouts of the year.

Open season in the world’s biggest golf tournament

Seven places quickly became a seven-figure liability as Paddy spunked the golf margin for the year with his crazy 7 places on the Open Championship. When you see a final-day leaderboard with the names Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Ian Poulter at the top you know you’re in trouble. We called the competition out all year on their measly four and five place offers (yes Ladbrokes & William Hill we’re talking to you) as punters hit pay-dirt in the biggest of our 21 Extra play Specials during the season. Add to that 21 Money Back Specials and these kind of Justice payouts and you get the picture.

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