The following is a report in this morning's Melbourne Herald Sun & Sydney's Daily Telegraph, however to most informed punters Zeljko has been known to us for about fifteen years. It might make interesting reading to those on this forum who have not heard of him.
SOME call him the "Loch Ness Monster", because of his rare public sightings.
Casinos have dubbed him "The Joker".
And he's the mystery man who raids Melbourne every Spring Racing Carnival, and reaps a fortune.
High-profile racing industry figures say he is the biggest punter not only in this country, but in the world.
Meet Australia's most mysterious and elusive gambling figu Zeljko Ranogajec, the man acknowledged even by sources close to the TAB to be, by some margin, its largest punter.
Those who know him well describe him as just a normal bloke.
"If you met him on the street, you would never think he's rich," one relative says. Others describe him similarly as "polite" and "unassuming.
But the size of Mr Ranogajec's betting is far from ordinary. It is believed he accounts for 6 to 8 per cent of Tabcorp's $10 billion Australian betting turnover: $600 million-$800 million, and bets tens of millions more with local bookmakers.
But that's just the start. Once the overseas betting turnover of his 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation is taken into account, his total annual betting spend globally is believed to be well over $1 billion.
One of Australia's most senior racing figures said Mr Ranogajec was truly a global punter: "He goes wherever he can get set late with big bets. That means countries like Japan, England, Hong Kong, New Zealand and America."
"He had one of his biggest wins of the year on Shocking in last year's Melbourne Cup. So You Think winning the Cox Plate was another big result for him," another source said.
"He bets according to the size of the pools, so the Melbourne Cup would be his biggest betting race of the year.
"If he stopped betting today, Australia's three TABs would be seriously affected, and Betfair (a global betting giant) would be in dire straits. He's that big a player.
"He's the best punter in the world. A guy I know who met him described it best. He said there are seven billion people in the world, four billion of them have probably had a bet at some stage. He's just the one person in the world who is the best punter of them all."
Mr Ranogajec is known to regularly splurge more than $1 million on an individual race, and increases his bets as the prize pool grows.
Industry talk has him employing anything from 30 to more than 100 staff just to analyse form.
The operation has generated plenty of wealth. One relative of Mr Ranogajec from his father's side - who spoke on condition of anonymity - said: "I heard just maybe two or three months ago that he's a multi-billionaire."
Yet he has never been mentioned on any Australian rich list, because the secrecy around his operations means no one is able to estimate his exact wealth.
According to the man himself, the talk about the magnitude of his betting and wealth is all just a big exaggeration.
But in Australia and overseas, any number of racing websites, industry analysts and books indicate he is just being modest and is a global betting giant.
One thing is clear: the 48-year-old has come a long way from his days of being kicked out of Hobart's Wrest Point Casino in the 1980s, as a highly successful young mathematics whiz-kid beating the casino at blackjack by keeping track of each card played (not that there's anything illegal about that).
The relative, from the side of his late father, Mirko, claims he had started to work part-time at Wrest Point while studying for a commerce/law degree.
The relative says he met his wife and "first love", Shelley Wilson, while she was also working there.
But the more successful he became at blackjack, the more his studies started to take a back seat.
His skills as a blackjack player saw him feared by casinos around the world. His business was "politely declined" first at Wrest Point, and Queensland's Jupiters Casino in the mid-1980s. But he did not give up playing the casinos, and moved to greener pastures overseas.
The relative from his father's side recalls him coming home after being too successful on the blackjack tables in the US: "He was in Chicago, I think. They stopped him, and he had to come back."
He increasingly turned his attention to horse racing, as well as other games such as Keno. He once won a then-world record $7.5 million Keno jackpot at Sydney's North Ryde RSL Club in 1994.
He may still have come out ahead because of smaller prizes he collected along the way.
But it is from horse racing that Mr Ranogajec has built his fortune.
Those in the know say the key to Mr Ranogajec's betting is chasing liquidity. He and his associates look for large betting pools awash with "mug punter" money that makes the pool as big as possible.
So private is Mr Ranogajec that there have even been suggestions he is using a pseudonym incorporating his wife's surname. According to records, a John Wilson, born in Hobart with an identical birthdate to Mr Ranogajec and an identical business address, owns a company that has assets including a multi-million-dollar beachfront property on the NSW Central Coast, and a Pacific Highway apartment in St Leonards.
Mr Ranogajec and Ms Wilson have been shrewd investors in property, mainly on Sydney's North Shore. In December 2008, the couple paid $19.75 million for a waterfront property on two blocks at Balmoral Beach, whose value had been hit by the global financial crisis.
The property is in the name of Ms Wilson. Parts of the property had been owned by jailed HIH executives Ray Williams and Brad Cooper.
In the aftermath of the HIH collapse in 2001, the couple had bought another Balmoral property for a knockdown $5.96 million, again in Ms Wilson's name.