Punter wins big on 'Virtual Horse'
By paul
A Scottish lorry driver has scooped a £84,198 ($133, 032) payout on a 'virtual racing' bet at UK bookmakers Ladbrokes. The lucky punter, Stuart Johnstone, placed a £7.50 bet at his local betting shop on four virtual horses. The four horses came in as winners, and now Johnstone is planning early retirement.

'We're delighted Stuart has found a spot for himself in the bookies' record books,' Ladbrokes spokesman Warren Lush said on Wednesday. 'The win has smashed all the previous records for a Virtual Horse Racing payout.'

Virtual Horse Racing was launched in May 2002, with 10 live races a day across 10,000 Ladbrokes betting shops. Around 250,000 punters a week watch the virtual races, and it is proving a hit with the punters - turnover has doubled in the last three months.

The results are determined by a random number generator (similar to those that power online casinos), but Lush says that punters study form as if the races were real.

To add an air of authenticity, horses and courses are given traditional racing names - for example, Portman Park and Steeple Down.

Commenting on his big win, Johnstone said: 'I can't believe that at last I've beaten the bookies and it isn't even on a real horse.'

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