Sam Oldham poses with the bronze medal (Getty Images)UPDATE: Betfred spokesman Mark Pearson tweeted Thursday afternoon that the company has decided to pay Linda Aldred for her bet. That's probably a wise choice. The ongoing negative publicity wasn't worth the money Betfred was saving by not compensating Aldred.
Family pride wasn't the only reason Linda Aldred was elated to see her grandson Sam Oldham win a surprise bronze medal in men's gymnastics at the London Olympics.
The 66-year-old England native also had made a lucrative bet before the Games began that Oldham would take home a medal.
According to the Thanet Times, Aldred placed a £5 bet ($7.90) at 200-to-1 odds with Betfred in honor of her late husband and Oldham's grandfather, Eric, whom she described as "a betting man. She attempted to cash in her bet after the Olympics, but bookmakers said they wouldn't pay her the £1,000 ($1,580.30) she thought she was due because Oldham's medal came in the team competition rather than as an individual.
"I was stunned," Aldred told the Times. "I am really happy Sam won, it is more the principle than the money, but I could have used the winnings to pay for my ticket to see Sam at the 2016 Olympics in Rio."
It's tempting to suggest that a grandmother who has never bet before might have simply misunderstood the wager she was making, but the picture of Aldred's betting slip in the Times appears to corroborate her argument.
Nowhere on that slip does it specify that Oldham needed to capture an individual medal for her to win. The 200-to-1 odds also would be reasonable either way since a British team hadn't won a medal in men's artistic gymnastics in 100 years.
Aldred said she has taken her complaint up with The Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS). Whether Betfred is right or wrong, the company might be wise to pay her. The money isn't worth the bad publicity the company has received for withholding a grandmother's winnings.
(Thanks, USA Today)
Check out Elite Athlete Workouts from Yahoo! Sports:
Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
• Bartolo Colon news hits one week after Melky Cabrera
• Pat Forde: College football's 25 most intriguing players
• Arsenal defender Andre Santos reportedly led cops on 130 mph chase
• Y! News: Are universities cyberstalking student-athletes on social media?