William Nelson Darnborough

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William Nelson Darnborough (1869–1958), also known as Bill Darnborough, was an American gambler from Bloomington, Illinois, who was known for his success in roulette at Monte Carlo from 1904 to 1911. During that time period he amassed a fortune of $415,000.[1] In one of the more legendary feats, Darnborough bet on the number 5 and won on five successive spins.[2]

After his wins, Darnborough married a young woman of noble blood, and lived on an estate in England. His son was the film producer Antony Darnborough (1913–2000) and his daughter, the ballerina Hermione Darnborough (1915–2010), married the distinguished composer and director of film music, Muir Mathieson. His granddaughter Fiona Mathieson (1951–1987) played Clarrie Grundy in the BBC radio serial The Archers. His grandson James Darnborough (born 1969) is a real estate agent based in London and Los Angeles.


  1. ^ Frank Scoblete (December 15, 2001). "Gambling's Greatest Wins, Runs, Records and Legends - Part 2". Casino City Times. Retrieved 2007-06-19.
  2. ^ Michael Kaplan and Ellen Kaplan, Chances Are...: Adventures in Probability, page 60-61.