AN IRISH racing fan has defied the odds to win €330,000 with a long-shot €77 five-horse accumulator.
Bookmakers Paddy Power said the lucky north Dublin punter, who wishes to remain anonymous, secured his windfall after predicting Cheltenham wins for the heavily backed Our Conor, Ted Veale, Bobs Worth, Salsify and Alderwood.
"This is truly weapons-grade punting," a spokesman for Paddy Power told the Irish Independent.
Meanwhile, this week's announcement from the Vatican left one group of punters overjoyed in Kerry.
The surprise election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis led to a cheeky windfall for a dozen Cheltenham fans in the Speakeasy Bar in Killarney.
A text message from Rome, that eventually found its way to the phone of a local woman, correctly tipped Cardinal Bergoglio as the new Pope.
The woman, who is from Killarney but doesn't want to be identified, is understood to have a contact with close links to the Vatican.
She was quick to share the hot tip with some of her home-town pals and that led to a mass exodus from the pub on Killarney's High Street to a nearby Paddy Power's.
Bemused staff slashed the odds from 50/1 but by that stage the damage was done.
A spokesman for Paddy Power confirmed that close on €8,000 worth of winnings was paid out in Killarney alone.
The owner of The Speakeasy, Gavin O'Donoghue, confirmed that he and 11 others backed Cardinal Bergoglio.
"We got the tip just before the first race in Cheltenham on Wednesday and we had a punt. There was massive excitement all evening," said Gavin, who scooped €500 for a €10 wager.
Max McCarthy, from Killarney, said: "It was the only decent winner I backed all week and I can tell you it was badly needed."
His understanding was that the tip had come from a senior church figure who had inside information.