Bet on your (own) Life: Cancer patient makes odds on his mortality

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When doctors notified Briton Jon Matthews that he was terminally ill with Mesothelioma -- a form of cancer linked to contact with asbestos -- the odds were against him. Most people with that kind of cancer don't live past 25 months. So he geared up for an end. That was in 2006.

But just after he finalized his will and paid for the funeral, he thought of a profit-making opportunity. Matthews placed a bet at his local betting shop that he would still be alive in June of 2008 and June of 2009.

Yesterday the widower collected his second payout: £5,000.
While he chuckles all the way to the bank, doctors are adjusting the disease's timeline to 25 months and 1 week (with Matthews' extension). Matthews is 58 years old, a former salesman, and has one child. His wife died of lung cancer. He figured he had absolutely nothing to lose by placing his original bet.


He's now placed a third wager, at odds of 100-1, that he'll still be kicking in June of 2010. If so, he'll win another £10,000. Talk about grabbing life by the horns!

Asked what he will do with his gains, Matthews said he'd spend some and donate the rest to charity, specifically, to Macmillan Cancer Support.
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