Winnings would be paid out even if football’s ruling body FIFA should conclude that Suarez did not bite Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the left shoulder.
Despite seemingly impossible odds, 167 punters in Europe have won money after placing bets that Uruguay striker Luis Suarez would bite another player during the ongoing World Cup, an online gambling firm said on Wednesday.
Winnings would be paid out even if football’s ruling body FIFA should conclude that Suarez did not bite Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the left shoulder in a match on Tuesday.
“Then they (FIFA) have seen something we have not. It was a bite,” Mikael Mellqvist, a spokesman for Betsson Group and currently in Brazil, told dpa by telephone.
The decision benefits punters like Jonathan Brack in Stenungsund, western Sweden, who bet 80 kronor (12 dollars) and won 14,000 kronor (2,077 dollars).
Mr. Brack, 23, told the online edition of the Goteborgs—Posten newspaper he planned to use the money for a trip to England to watch football with a friend.
His win could have been even bigger had he not heeded advice from another friend who cautioned him not to go ahead with his initial bet of several hundred kronor, citing the odds for a Suarez’ bite were at 175 to 1.
In all the 167 winners won 50,000 euros (68,000 dollars), Patrik Oqvist, chief marketing officer of Betsafe, part of the Betsson group, said by telephone from Malta.
Some winners have posted their winning coupons on Twitter or made media interviews.
Norwegian national Thomas Syversen won 5,600 kroner (915 dollars) in the bizarre incident involving Suarez. “It is the craziest bet I have made,” Mr. Syversen was quoted as telling the Norwegian daily Aftenposten of his bet worth roughly 5 dollars.
The 23—year—old, who earns his living playing poker, said he did not see the incident live but saw replays of it. Mr. Syversen said Suarez, who plays for English Premier League side Liverpool, “is a great football player, but I am a Blackpool fan.’’