One player had a truly life-changing weekend by pocketing an incredible £222,154 Cash Out offer from The Colossus, our £5,000,000 correct score pool.
The challenge was to predict the correct scores of seven matches, spanning the Premier League, Serie A, Ligue Un and Bundesliga. The player opted for 16 separate lines at £1 a go, meaning that they would be playing for half of the total Jackpot fund.
The fun began at 17:30 on Saturday when the first two legs kicked off, Brighton vs. Newcastle and Stuttgart vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach.
At the Amex Stadium, the player had predicted a 1-0 victory to Brighton or a 1-1 draw. When Ayoze Perez was left unmarked in the box in the 18th minute, he made no mistake about rifling the ball into the roof of the net, giving Newcastle the lead. It would take a Brighton goal to rescue the ticket and, having failed to score in their previous seven matches, that was no given.
Cometh the hour though, cometh Pascal Groß. In the 75th minute the ball was floated onto the waiting head of Glenn Murray, who teed it up for Groß. The German headed it past Martin Dúbravka, levelling the match and keeping the ticket alive.
Meanwhile, at the Mercedez-Benz arena in Stuttgart, the player had covered four results to give themselves a strong chance; 1-0 or 2-1 victories for Stuttgart, a 0-0 draw or a 3-1 away win would all be welcome scorelines. Anastasios Donis opened the scoring for Stuttgart in the 56th minute and there were no further goals, ensuring a fairly routine single goal victory for The Reds and, more importantly, our player.
Attention moved to the top-of-the-table clash between Italian giants Inter Milan and Juventus. The player seemed in no doubt about the outcome, selecting just one scoreline; the 1-1 draw. Radja Nainggolan put Inter ahead in just the seventh minute with a sensational volley from outside the box that flew into the bottom corner of the Juve net.
The stage was set for a hero and who better than Cristiano Ronaldo? The Portuguese star fired an equaliser in the 62nd minute, landing the 1-1 and ensuring a third straight winning leg on the ticket at the close of play. With the remaining four matches still to come on Sunday, 99.7% of the pool’s initial units had been knocked out, with just 49 of 15,712 still active.
On Sunday the next two legs were due to begin at 14:00 and our player had plumped for 1-1 in the clash between Chievo and Parma, as well as 2-1 to the home side in addition to the 0-0 draw in Amiens SC vs. Strasbourg.
When Parma took the lead in the first half, the player would have been praying for a Chievo goal to seal a third 1-1 correct scoreline and was happily obliged in the 66th minute when Riccardo Meggiorini scored the equaliser. There were no such worries in the French game, Amiens and Strasbourg playing out a goalless draw to keep the ticket going into the sixth leg.
Things were suddenly getting serious. The player had napped four draws in the opening five legs and would need a fifth to stay alive in the clash between Manchester United and Chelsea, backing yet another 1-1.
The deadlock was broken in the 11th minute when former Chelsea player Juan Mata slotted the ball home to give United the lead and fulfil the first half of the required correct score on the ticket.
A few months ago the prospect of relying on David De Gea to make an error might have filled you with dread, such was his form. However, these are different times for the Spaniard and he was guilty of yet another error in the 43rd minute, pushing a dipping Antonio Rudiger effort into the path of Marcus Alonso who gratefully capitalised.
After a nervy second half in which Pedro made a headed goal-line clearance before Gonzalo Higuain squandered a great opportunity at the other end, there were no more goals and the match finished 1-1.
The player had a decision to make. After brilliantly predicting the correct score in each of the opening six legs, they were made a gigantic Cash Out offer of £222,154.68. Would they Cash Out or would they put faith in the seventh and final leg, where they needed another 1-1 draw between Torino and AC Milan?
After what must have been a tough decision, they accepted the full offer, securing nearly a quarter of a million pounds from just a £16 outlay, incredible! Suddenly the player wanted anything but the 1-1 scoreline in the remaining match, to prove that they had Cashed Out at the correct time.
In the 53rd minute Andrea Belotti gave Torino the lead. With AC Milan edging possession and goal attempts, they looked as though they might find their way back into the match but then something fantastic happened. Alejandro Berenguer collected the ball on the edge of the penalty area and hit it on the half-volley. The strike was too good for the outstretched Gianluigi Donnarumma, who could only get his fingers to it, and the ball hit the net. Torino were 2-0 up and the ticket had lost.
It’s tough to envisage how the player felt at that moment, knowing that they had turned £16 into £222,154, on a ticket that was worth a fraction of that. If ever a ticket demonstrated the value of Cash Out, this was it.
From all of us here at Colossus, take our huge congratulations on an incredible effort and story.