Nicholas Newlife Bets On Sports, Leaves Money To Oxfam In Will

A few years back, Nicholas Newlife of Kidlington (near Oxford) placed a bet of €275 (that's Euros) -- he wagered that tennis superstar Roger Federer would win 14 Grand Slam titles before 2020. The odds against were 66 to 1.

Well, it happened, and Newlife won €18,500 (equal to roughly $25,000). Federer won his 14th grand slam on June 7, 2009. Unfortunately, Newlife has recently died and was unable to collect his winnings. But, then something unexpected happened. Newlife stipulated in his will that all subsequent gambling winnings were to go to Oxfam International, a prominent organization that seeks to end poverty and injustice.

Oxfam could stand to win a great deal more money, should one of Newlife's final bets come through. He wagered well before his death that Federer would win the Wimbledon tournament seven times before 2020. He's already won six times -- taking the tournament each year since 2003, except for 2008, when he lost to Spaniard Rafael Nadal. If Federer wins Wimbledon this July (or any other time in the next 10 years), Oxfam will win €112,580 (about $153,000 at current exchange rates).

From RTÉ Sport:

Graham Sharpe, of bookmakers William Hill, with whom the bets were all placed between 2000 and 2005, said: 'Mr Newlife was clearly a very shrewd sporting gambler whose early identification of potential superstars won tens of thousands of pounds for himself while he was still alive.

'But to ensure that a respected charity would benefit from any bets which came to fruition after his death makes him unprecedented in my 30-year experience of the betting industry.'

Federer survived a tough five-set match in the first round against Alejandro Falla to advance in Wimbledon. Oxfam spokesperson Cathy Ferrier says that receiving money in the wills of the deceased is not uncommon at all. About 10% of donations to Oxfam come from legacies.