3 Massive Political Wagers

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The world of gambling isn’t limited to a run-down dog track, a bearded man in an overcoat swilling his pint towards the losing canine and shouting obscenities in the hope it will spur him to victory. We can actually be quite civilised, actually. In modern society we can bet on quite literally every minute of a football match, play poker with thousands of people worldwide from our living rooms, and wager money on the existence of aliens. It stands to reason, then, that betting on the outcome of political voting should be thrown into the mix. Here are three of the biggest political wagers placed in recent years.

Say No for £400,000

The Scottish Independence Referendum will be held on September 18th 2014, and as such we don’t yet know if this punter will be laughing all the way to the bank or going home with his tail between his legs. Scottish voters will soon take to the polls to indicate whether or not they would like independence from the United Kingdom. Most surveys to date indicate that the country will vote ‘No’, remaining a part of the UK for the foreseeable future. This has seen them backed in to a rather unappealing 1/4, yet this certainly didn’t deter one punter.

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In a London outlet of popular bookies William Hill the man (who didn’t have a Scottish accent) laid down a massive £400,000 to break the record for the largest political wager, beating the previous record of £200,000 – also on a ‘No’ vote in the campaign. He will win £100,000 if Scotland vote ‘No’ but will lose the lot if voting swings the other way. Interestingly there has been a recent spike in ‘Yes’ interest, with Rupert Muroch declaring as much on popular social media site Twitter. Overall, thankfully, the punter is still red-hot favourite to go home with half a million in total. If the punter is to lose we have a feeling they’ll go off haggis for life.

More than Change

It may seem a long time ago now, but there was a time when President Barack Obama was neck-and-neck with Republican rival John McCain. It seems his ‘Change’ campaign worked on one Australian resident, who had such a firm belief Mr Obama would be the next US President that he placed a stunning $50,000 on just that. Until that point the betting had been right down the middle, but the shrewd punter was just ahead of the times as the Democratic candidate began to pull away thereafter.

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It seems that the Obama race was of huge interest to punters in Australia, so much so that it caused quite a stir with a couple of bookmakers. Sportsbet and Centrebet gained notoriety for the wrong reasons when they refused to pay out on winning bets for Obama to be elected President – in case he was killed before his inauguration. Thankfully, it went off without a hitch and America welcomed its first black President.

Not Very Conservative

Some people make a living betting on seeming sure-things at minimal odds, accumulating small amounts of profit without getting carried away. Whilst this sounds sensible in theory, the amount of money required to make a worthwhile return is enough to dissuade most gamblers. Before David Cameron was elected as British Prime Minister his odds were as short as 1/25, but that didn’t stop a massive 6-figure bet being placed on it by one confident punter.

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Again taking place at a William Hill bookies, the bet was referred to Head Office before being approved, pushing the odds out further to 1/66. He eventually walked away with £8,000 profit, but it must have been a worrying few hours waiting for the official results to role in. We think we’ll just stick to a fiver here and there, thanks.

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