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BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)<br />
Pic: W&W/BNPS<br />
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Crichell House in Dorset.<br />
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A simple bet on two raindrops on a window pane that was placed 123 years ago has now netted the family of the winner almost 65,000 pounds.<br />
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The wager was made in 1890 at stately home Crichel House in Witchampton, Dorset, between a member of the Alington family and a friend.<br />
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Upset at losing, the disgruntled friend marched straight to the bank to withdraw the money owed in the lowest denomination possible at the time - farthings.<br />
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But now the descendants of the winner have had the last laugh after the remaining 2,794 farthings, dated 1890 and still in mint condition, sold at auction for 63,440 pounds.<br />
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The cache of unused bronze coins, wrapped in tissue paper, represents two pounds, 18 shillings, one penny and two farthings - the equivalent of 220 pounds today.<br />
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The huge sale price means each coin was worth almost 23 pounds, around 22,000 times their original value.<br />
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Each 0.8-inch diameter coin features the head of Queen Victoria on one side and Britannia on the other.<br />
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They had been stored in boxes at Crichel House, near Blandford, home of the Alington family, until its sale in April this year.<br />
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Single farthings commonly command between two and 10 pounds at auction.<br />
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Experts had tipped the collection to fetch 14,000 pounds but were astounded when it sold for more than four times the amount to a UK coin collector.