When 26-year-old Matts Dahlberg in Vilhelmina in northern Sweden put on his Santa outfit for the tenth consecutive year to visit families around his hometown, he was simply hoping to spread some joy among the children.
“I don’t ask for any compensation, but as usual I got a few boxes of chocolate and some other gifts,” he told the local Piteå tidningen newspaper.
Needless to say, Dahlberg is not in it for the money, but this Christmas he got some anyway.
In one of the houses Dahlberg visited lives a man who runs a local betting shop.
When Dahlberg came a-ho-ho-ho-ing, the man insisted on giving him a tenth of the potential winnings from a football bet his brother had arranged.
The following day, after celebrating Christmas with his friends and family, Dahlberg received a call from the man who had given him the ticket.
After 12 out of 13 matches had been played and correctly guessed, the betting shop owner assured Dahlberg he was going to win some money that weekend.
The next day; the day of the final game between British teams Arsenal and Wolverhampton, Dahlberg was eagerly watching the game to find out what he might collect.
“Of course I watched the game on TV. Exciting? Well, that’s to say the least,” he told the paper.
He knew he would win something whatever the outcome of the game, but it was made extra exciting by the knowledge that should the game end up a tie, itwould give him the maximum turnover of 90,000 kronor ($13,060).
Arsenal led by one goal throughout most of the game, but Wolverhampton still managed to tie the game and fill up Santa’s wallet.
Afterwards, the man from the betting shop called to congratulate Dahlberg, who assured him that he would compensate the man for his generosity.
Vilhelmina’s part-time Santa now plans to use some of his winnings to visit friends in Canada.
“And I will also buy a new Santa mask,” he said.
“The old one is getting a bit worn down so that could be a good investment for next Christmas.”