All Blacks v France: $3m makes it TAB's biggest night

By Amelia Wade

Richie McCaw celebrates the All Blacks win. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Richie McCaw celebrates the All Blacks win. Photo / Paul Estcourt

About $3 million was bet on last night's Rugby World Cup final - making it the biggest day for the TAB ever.

One TAB customer spent $40,000 on bets, placing $20,000 on the All Blacks to win 11-20, which was paying $2.85, and another $20,000 for them to win 11-30, which was paying $3.40.

Another punter had placed $50,000 on the first points to come from an All Black penalty. Piri Weepu missed the first chance at points - from a penalty.

TAB bookmaker Mark Stafford said the bets kept rolling in right up until the end of the match. By 8.30pm, he said they were about to hit $3 million turnover.

"It's just been astronomical," he said. "I think just about everyone in the country has $5 or $10 bets on something in the game."

The final was the biggest event in the betting agency's history and broke the previous recordholder, the David Tua-Lennox Lewis boxing match in 2000, on which the TAB took in $2.1 million.

"That's an 11-year record that's been broken. That's huge for us."

Mr Stafford said that while there had been a lot of bets in the thousands and many in the hundreds of dollars, the smaller $10 and $20 ones were the cause of the final being the highest-grossing event.

"All those littler ones add up and there's lots of people making those smaller ones."

Israel Dagg was the clear favourite to score the first try, Mr Stafford said.

In December, one dedicated All Black fan bet $70,000 New Zealand would make it to the final and win the Webb Ellis Cup. An All Black win would mean that person would double his or her money.

The TAB provided some creative options for its customers for a bit of fun, for example the odds of Piri Weepu getting more points than Grant Fox did in the 1987 final were at $3.25.

Last night, the betting agency was paying $1.09 for the All Blacks to take home the cup and $6.50 for France to win.

- NZ Herald

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