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Fans of U.K. exiting E.U. bet on soccer strategy to win support


Campaigners for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union when the country votes on the issue on June 23 believe they have come up with a way to get apathetic voters interested — betting on soccer.

Inspired by Warren Buffet's “March Madness” basketball contest, the “Vote Leave” campaign is offering a whopping £50 million ($73.1 million) prize to anyone who can correctly guess the outcome of each game in the upcoming European soccer championships.

Vote Leave has taken out insurance at Lloyd's of London in case anyone wins the prize, according to media reports.

Executives at Lloyd's, including its CEO Inga Beale, have strongly voiced their view that the insurance industry would be disadvantaged if the United Kingdom were to leave the E.U. after the binding referendum on June 23.

The £50 million prize money supposedly represents the amount that the United Kingdom sends to the European Union each day, though this figure has been hotly contested.

If nobody guesses all the match outcomes, then Vote Leave will pay out £50,000 ($73,110) to the person who correctly guesses the most consecutive outcomes after the tournament kicks off on June 10 in France.

Of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom, three — England, Northern Ireland and Wales — have qualified for the Union of European Football Associations' 15th tournament.

The referendum represents an important milestone in British history, but soccer victories and losses are also hugely important to the country's psyche.

As legendary Liverpool F.C. manager Bill Shankly once said: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”