Three thousand Preston fans were celebrating at the double today after bookies paid out more than a million pounds on Jermaine Beckford’s Wembley hat-trick.
The biggest losers were Warrington-based Betfred who handed over winnings of more than £450,000.
Betfred owner Fred Done said today: ‘’Not only are supporters of this fine traditional club now promoted but have a few quid in their pockets.
“It was the biggest match in the club’s recent history live on TV and with the exposure only Wembley can bring it was a perfect storm. I am hurting in my pocket big time.’’
Beckford was, in fact, only second favourite at kick-off against Swindon to score first, with fellow striker Joe Garner heavily backed at 4/1.
But Beckford was the most popular bet to put PNE on the road to glory at 11/2.
Under Betfred’s hat-trick heaven offer, his second goal would have paid out at 11/1 but with him bagging his third the odds changed to a mouth-watering 17/1.
Stakes varied between £1 to £200 so at least ten lucky fans picked up £3,400…and next season Betfred are already offering 9/1 that Preston do it again and get promoted to the Premier League.