Cleaner treats pals to Vegas trip after hoovering up £168,000 in Cheltenham bet
A generous cleaner from Tiverton is treating six lucky friends to a trip to Las Vegas after winning £168,751 on a £1 each-way Lucky 31 at the Cheltenham Festival.
Father of two Martin Palk, 55, struck the £62 bet at a Betfred shop in Tiverton, Devon, and roared home the final selection – Missed Approach in the Kim Muir – in the company of his pals.
"There was a great atmosphere in the shop as my choice Missed Approach led from virtually start to finish," Palk recalled. "I’m normally quite tanned but everyone says I went white as a sheet. Prior to the last race I said half-jokingly, 'If I win I’m taking all of us, all seven, to Las Vegas for four days', which of course I have honoured – and we’re turning it into a week.
“It was a bit of banter but I’m a man of my word so the Magnificent Seven are off to the Strip. It will cost me £10,000 and I’ve told them they can bring their own spending money!”
Palk, who owns MP Cleaning Services, started work at 5am last Thursday, cleaning a nursery and industrial estate offices before giving himself the afternoon off to watch the racing.
He backed Shattered Love at 5-1 in the JLT, Delta Work at 9-1 in the Pertemps, Penhill at 12-1 in the Stayers', The Storyteller at 7-1 in the Plate and Missed Approach at 10-1 in the concluding Kim Muir.
His winnings were boosted 50 per cent due to a promotion Betfred were running during Cheltenham, bringing the total haul to £168,751.
Palk may have won a life-changing sum of money but he was back cleaning the next morning – although not necessarily through choice.
"As soon as the fifth horse won I rang everyone up and we went to the Conservative club to start celebrating," he said.
"I was pleasantly surprised that although the drinks were on me the bar bill was only just over £100. Next day I was at work at 5am as usual. I had to be because everyone else had been celebrating with me and phoned in sick!"
Palk is not sure exactly how he will spend the money but, rest assured, is going to have some fun with it.
He added: "Some money will be going to my daughters. As well as going to Vegas with the lads, my wife Colleen and I have not discussed where we as a family might go. Perhaps Vegas again or the Caribbean.
"I tell you what, we won’t be saving it or anything boring like that, money is for spending and having a good time."
"I still feel numb, like I'm dreaming and someone will be pinching me and waking me up," added Palk.
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