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A mistake on a betting slip cost a punter £200k. How you react to that is telling

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If I had to pick my favourite irrational fear – behind falling into open manholes, snakes coming out of the toilet and the unshakeable belief that my friends’ newborn baby secretly hates me and is going to beat me up as soon as he learns how fists work – it would probably be filling in forms. No matter how long I spend poring over them, painstakingly writing out everything in a black fountain pen and BLOCK CAPITALS, I’m positive I’ve made a mistake. What if, when confronted with one of those “do you consent to this company contacting you” questions, I wrongly ticked the box that allows them to message me via swarms of angry bees? What if, instead of requesting an aisle seat, I’ve mistakenly given my consent to be fired out of the plane via ejector seat if they’ve overbooked the flight? It’s a fear I’ll never get over, especially not after this week, when I learned of the horrifying story of David Smith, a 60-year-old punter from Loughborough, who managed to lose £189,000 on an accumulator by filling out a form wrongly. Move over Best Friends’ Thug Baby – this scenario has replaced all of my nightmares now.

Two weeks ago, Smith picked six outside winners on an accumulator that added up to £212,000, a truly baffling amount of money. When he went to collect........

© The Guardian