Do you know who was Finland's first betting millionaire?

According to Veikkaus, he was Walfrid Eklund, who was born in Tampere and correctly checked the results of 12 football matches in 1948 in the old Standard Betting.

The profit amounted to approximately FIM 1.2 million.

The 1965 Veikkaus-Lotto magazine reports that Eklund was a resident of the Oriede municipal home at the time of his victory.

After the news of a fabulous betting victory in post-war Finland, Eklund went to meet the director of the municipal home, Anni Mattila.

Had director Mattila read in the magazine that a Hämäläinen worker had won over a million bets?

Eklund inquired.

Mattila had read.

- I am the man, Eklund revealed Mattila put out of the 48 500 mark banknotes and added:

- Take this money and distribute one to each resident of this house, but two to the ward.

The majority of the elderly in the house had never owned such a large sum of notes.

According to Veikkaus-Lotto magazine, Eklund gave most of its profits to others.

The municipality of Orivesi received FIM 200,000 and the parish one hundred tonnes.

In total, he distributed FIM 750,000.

In July 1965, Mattila, the director of the municipal home, wrote a letter to Veikkaus, in which he recounted his memories of his exceptional resident.

IS has received the letter for viewing.

According to Mattila, Eklund, who died in 1961, left behind an oblique stack of Veikkaus booklets, full of “world matches”.

The man's way of life was very special.

- It involved a lot of mystery, it was about working for one's neighbors in one's own way, it was a lot more demanding of him and after all, perhaps many times difficult for him,

Photo by Walfrid Eklund in Veikkaus-Lotto magazine. Photo: Veikkaus archive

Eklund arrived at the municipal home voluntarily as early as 1946, 15 years before his death.

He had entered into an agreement with the municipality that if he surrendered his farm, he would receive an apartment and maintenance from the municipal home.

But he didn't want to strain his service house.

At first he went to work in Tampere, ate outside and just lived in the department.

According to Mattila, the deeply religious Eklund had strange habits, such as refusing coffee poured by others and calling the cleaners “barks”.

Moreover, he never ignored the woman, other than “turning from behind,” and he could be awkward for inexperienced workers.

But for the men of the tobacco place, he was a valuable shampoo of knowledge, for Eklund, who was educated in the metal industry, was multilingual and had seen the world.

As a young man, he went to sea for 15 years and settled in the United States for 19 years.

After returning from there, he bought half of the epic car repair shop in Tampere.

A photograph of the American years was preserved, which Eklund presented to the mayor of the municipal home one Christmas Eve.

In the photo was his family: a wife and a son under one year old.

Both had died and received their “resting place in the far west”.

It was the only time Eklund talked about his family.

- Things wear out when talking, he explained.

Mattila believed that the loss of the family made the widow a recluse and closed herself.

Misfortune in love knew luck in the game.

Eklund filled his winning coupon on a train trip in Tampere, left the coupon station in the kiosk and “so the game was played”.

The prize money had to be applied for in cash from Veikkaus' office in Helsinki - an experience that was so memorable that Eklund bet on the same system until his death.

- He certainly believed in the mountain that he would once again be able to make the same trip to Helsinki again.

You can let your coat hang on the nail of the train and look very carefree, that not only your fellow passengers know that there is a lot of money in the pocket of that jacket, Mattila writes.

Veikkaus filled in coupons in 1949 and Kessu burned down. Photo: Veikkaus archive

According to Mattila, Eklund gave away his money partly because he believed that in that way he would win the jackpot again.

Apparently he also spent his money sparingly.

Three years after his victory, in 1951, he made a boat trip to America.

The voyage ended in a cargo ship departing from Kotka.

Eklund worked in the engine room all the way.

He wanted to get to know modern seafaring.

But the man was constantly overwhelmed by what the other residents of the municipal home came in and talked about about his trip.

- I told him that he could take it very carefree, just like visiting Tampere, Mattila says.

One morning Eklund then appeared on his way back to Orivesi, the morning of the municipal home, and said good morning.

- We were like nothing had happened, Mattila writes.

- That's how someone can take their life.

Eklund's way was to live this way.

Veikkaus' light advertising from the 1950s. Photo: Veikkaus archive