Bookmakers were left counting the cost of Leicester’s Premier League title.
City, 5,000-1 outsiders at the start of the season, claimed the crown on Monday night as rivals Tottenham failed to win at Chelsea.
Stories have slowly emerged of those once optimistic punters who put the odd pound on their side to win the Premier League, in nothing but hope.
And now, that hope is returning riches.
Sky Bet said it had paid out a record £4.6million to gamblers, saying it was an industry loser with 128 people backing City at the longest price.
Sky Bet’s Sandro Di Michele said: ”The unthinkable has become reality and we’re facing a paying out the sort of liability that you joke about at the start of the season.
”We’re now bracing ourselves for more punters looking to get on long-price outright odds, but Leicester certainly won’t be 5,000/1 next season!”
Betfred boss Fred Done was the first man to pay out on City winning the title and says he will now offer 5,000-1 on newly-promoted Burnley replicating their achievement next season.
”Some people might say that we’ll never learn but I just can’t see a huge shock like Leicester’s fantastic success happening again,” he said.
”The big boys will rally for sure this summer having suffered bloodied noses. Inspirational Leicester have given all so called smaller clubs hope with the question ‘why not us?” being asked in boardrooms up and down the land.”
William Hill said it had lost £2.2million as a result.
”Leicester’s 5,000/1 victory has smashed all bookmaking records and in the process cost us a £2.2m loss – our worst individual day’s result on a single sport since Frankie Dettori rode all seven winners at Ascot in September 1996 and cost us over £8m and the industry £50m,” said Hill’s spokesman Graham Sharpe.
Hill’s are pricing Leicester at 25/1 for the title next season and at 16/1 to go down. The bookmaker added that its largest bet on Leicester was £20 at 5,000/1 and the smallest 5p at the same price.
Bet365 said it was now pricing Leicester at 100/1 to win the Champions League. Spokesman Steve Freeth said: ”The dream has become reality and Leicester City will be the toast of a number of punters after pulling off the biggest sports betting shock of all-time – to the tune of over £3m in our case.”