A FOOTBALL fan has told of his disbelief after landing a whopping cash prize for correctly guessing the result of 10 matches.
Mark Groves won £10,000 to become only the second ever victor of the Perfect 10 predictor game run by website The Sportsman.
The competition challenges players to predict the correct result, but not scoreline, of 10 fixtures being played on a single day.
Taking part on Saturday, October 13, engineer Mr Groves achieved the feat – and he was stunned when he found out.
‘I was working away where it was two hours ahead so I had no idea about any idea of this happening until I checked my phone,’ said Mr Groves, who lives in Fareham.
‘I was stuck in the hotel room getting ready to go to bed when I saw an email saying I’d won – there was no one to talk to and I didn’t know what to do.
‘I rang my partner Lisa in disbelief.’
Little did he know, the 39-year-old had correctly guessed the result of nine matches which kicked off at 3pm – including Pompey’s win against AFC Wimbledon – but was made to wait for one final whistle to blow as FC Halifax Town took on Chesterfield at 5.15pm.
When the Conference Premier match got under way Stamshaw-born Mr Groves, who predicted a draw, was one of 13 players still in contention to win the sum.
Goalless in the first half, things were looking good until Matty Kosylo scored for Halifax in the 69th minute.
But Mr Groves’ prediction was back on track after a Chesterfield equaliser 10 minutes later, before the game ended 1-1.
However, despite his efforts, he was still among four players with a perfect 10.
Having taken him this far, his stellar guesswork was scrutinised in a tiebreak – which turned to players’ earlier prediction of how many goals would be scored across the 10 goals.
Four became one as Mark came closest, guessing 30, with the actual figure sitting at 31.
He said: ‘I don’t think Lisa believed when I called and I'm still in shock now.
‘It was a surreal experience because I have never won anything like this before.’
Only beginning to set in, Mr Groves – who began playing Perfect 10 ‘on and off’ last season – said part of his winnings will go toward a high-end road bike.
The rest he said was uncertain, but he had a message for fellow football fans.
‘You have to be in it to win it, so I would absolutely recommend anything that is free to play like this,’ he said.
His luck follows a similar feat from Gosport resident Brett Harley, who won Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday Super 6 score predictor game in February.
An avid Pompey fan, he also clinched a £10,000 prize.