December 10, 2005

Briton loses dead cert bet — by staying alive

LONDON (Reuters) - A 91-year-old British man who staked a
500-pound bet that he would be dead by the end of the first
week in December lost his stake by staying alive, a bookmaker
said on Saturday.

Arthur King-Robinson said he put the bet on at odds of 6/1
at the start of the year because his wife would have faced an
inheritance tax bill of 3000 pounds had he died in the
intervening period.

"I thought I'd heard most things that people want to bet on
after 30 years in the business," said Graham Sharpe, spokesman
for bookmaker William Hill. "But one asking literally to place
a dead cert was unique. I'm glad Arthur has lost."

King-Robinson had feared that his wife Cynthia, 85, would
have to sell the home they had lived in for 50 years in
southwest England if she had been hit by the tax bill.

"I lost my 500 pounds -- but it gave me peace of mind," he