Duncan Thomson, Brian McCutcheon, John Patterson and Arthur Murdoch,from King of Scots Robert the Bruce Society, hold the Scottish flags as they prepare to vote in the Scottish independence referendum on Sept. 14, 2014 in Loch Lomond, Scotland.
Jeff J. Mitchell—Getty Images
September 17, 2014 1:19 PM EDT

One British businessman has more than a million reasons to hope that Scotland will vote to stay in the United Kingdom in Thursday’s referendum, after betting almost $1.5 million (£900k) that the country will say no to independence.

The unidentified middle-aged businessman from London placed what is believed to be one of the largest sums ever staked on a political event in Britain. He made the first part of his bet (around $653,000) in June at his local bookmaker William Hill, reports the Daily Telegraph. He then returned twice in August and once more on Wednesday to take additional bets, bringing the total to a staggering $1.5 million. The customer, who is not Scottish, took odds of 1/4 for his first bet, 1/6 for the second, and 1/5 for the third and fourth parts.

The customer stands to collect around $1.8 million if Scotland votes to remain part of the union, though he himself will not be able to cast a vote. A spokesman for William Hill called the customer a “responsible gambler” and said “this man is confident, if not entirely convinced, that his gamble will pay off – in fact, he has called it an ‘investment.'”

Latest polls for the referendum have revealed it is too close to call but suggested a small lead for the “No” vote with 52% to 48%

[Daily Telegraph]

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Write to Naina Bajekal at naina.bajekal@time.com.

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