Picture the scene. You’ve placed your Hotshot Jackpot bet and you’re ready for the weekend. You watch the results trickle in. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 correct anytime goalscorers! Just one more needed, Romelu Lukaku in the Monday Night Football fixture, Sunderland v Everton… The definition of ‘Squeaky bum time’.
That’s exactly how two online Paddy Power customers from the United Kingdom will be feeling this evening at 8pm. With seven correct anytime scorers already in the bag, they need the big Belgian to find the net versus David Moyes’ Sunderland to land the big bucks and secure their place in the coveted Punting Hall of Fame.
If he does? They will split £325k down the middle. £162.5k on a Monday. That’s what we call a beautiful start to the week!
One of our would-be Jackpot winners is David from Dunfermline. His weekend started off as a shocker, with his team Manchester United managing to cock-up the derby in fine fashion.
David said: “United losing on Saturday was a tough one to take, but winning Hotshot Jackpot would more than make up for it!”
His weekend took a dramatic turn when he started to see his Hotshot Jackpot picks coming in. From Callum Wilson to Dele Alli, and Diego Costa to Troy Deeney, he just needs one key man to seal the deal.
“One thing’s for sure. Lukaku is the word of the day. I have won a couple of hundred quid at the Euros. On corners, goals and card markets, but never anything like this.”
He won’t be sat on the sofa for the game, though. He will be in the air on the way to the Costa Del Sol. Which, if you weren’t already aware, is a region in the south of Spain named after a certain Chelsea goal scorer who found the net in leg 6 of David’s HSJP selections.
“The first thing I will do when I touch down is check the score. If Lukaku has scored, I will love him forever.”
If there is a player you would like £162.5k to rest on, you could do a lot worse than Lukaku. He was the Premier League’s fourth top goal scorer last season, with 18 goals in 36 league appearances.
Despite a goal drought towards the end of the season – where Lukaku hasn’t found the net since March – his international form suggests otherwise.
He bagged a brace for his country in the World Cup Qualifiers last week, netting the opener after just 12 minutes. Our two punters will be hoping for a swift repeat of this tonight, at least to save them any fingernails they may have left.
The 23-year-old is to score anytime at the Stadium of Light. Since his first league game against Sunderland in 2012, he has found the net four times in eight appearances.
The Toffee’s secured Sunderland’s safety last season, losing 3-0 in the corresponding fixture. However, on home turf they smashed them 6-2, their biggest league win since November 2007. And who scored the final goal of the game…..? You guessed it, Romelu Lukaku.
To get to this point, both customers backed Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson to bag his first goal since last September following a knee injury. He scored the only goal of the game to get the lads off to a winning start on Saturday.
Next up on the journey to the Jackpot was Harry Kane and Dele Alli. Both had failed to contribute in England’s World Cup qualifier earlier in the week, but our punters certainly won’t care. They got on the scoresheet for Spurs to take them onto game 3/8.
Christian Benteke opened his account at Crystal Palace after just 15 minutes, allowing the Hotshot backers to see a little bit of light (and cash) at the end of the tunnel.
The Hotshot lads were the only ones praising Virgil Van Dijk’s dirty tactics on Saturday. Santi Carzola’s 93rd-minute penalty left them sweating on the sofa, and one step closer to the cash.
Jamie Vardy and Roberto Firmino were the next order of the day. Two quality finishes from Firmino were straight-forward enough, and if one man was going to secure it for Leicester it had to be Sheffield’s favourite son.
Everyone’s favourite b*stard, AKA Diego Costa, was perhaps the simplest leg of the Jackpot to predict. He went into the game with two league goals and left with four. Nice work from the Spaniard to take our Jackpot-ees into the penultimate leg.
Both customers were clearly confident that Watford would do the business over West Ham, and rightfully so. They must have thought it was all over at first, as Bilic’s men went two ahead. But a 2-4 comeback and goals from Troy Deeney and Odion Igahlo propelled the Hotshot customers to the final stage.