One of the most epic finals in FIFA World Cup history has rewarded TAB NZ punters like never before, with $3 million paid out to Kiwi football fans on the final.
Argentina’s win on penalties over France after the score was tied at 3-all at the end of extra time was a popular result for many of the 42,000 TAB NZ customers who placed a bet on the final — the most number of customers to have placed a bet on any single sporting event in TAB’s 26-year history of sports betting.
France opened as $1.85 favourites to lift the Cup when the market opened on Thursday morning, but Argentina continued to gain support with the odds evenly poised by the time the match kicked off on Monday morning.
"As part of our World Cup early payout promotion, we paid out more than $1m to Argentina fans when they took a 2-0 lead in the 36th minute,” TAB NZ Head of Betting Nick Conway says.
“Argentina couldn’t get the job done in 90 minutes, but we delivered punters an early Christmas present, paying out $500,000 in head-to-head bets that would have ordinarily lost, while those who backed Argentina to lift the cup had no stress while watching the extra time chaos unfold thanks to the early payout.”
History shows the glorious uncertainty of sport intervened again with Kylian Mbappé’s hat-trick taking the match to penalties and the fluctuating fortunes kept punters interested right through to Gonzalo Montiel sealing Argentina’s win with his spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out.
There is hope on the horizon for French sports fans though.
“While the agony of losing the final will still be fresh for them, we’re extending an olive branch for today by boosting the odds to $4.50 for favourites France to win the Rugby World Cup final at home next year,” Nick Conway says.