In Foreign News: International bookies placed odds on Obama’s inauguration phrases
New US President Barack Obama was sworn in Tuesday, January 20, in front of thousands of onlookers and billions of television viewers worldwide.
And much to the disappointment of long-shot bettors in the United Kingdom and other countries (including the US, where online betting has been a federal offence since 2006), Obama did not mention the word ?banana,? say the phrase ?change has come,? or shock the world by uttering a curse word.
Why would anyone make such a ludicrous bet on the president’s inaugural speech? It turns out that bookies in the UK, such as Paddy Power, have been collecting bets on the details of the US presidential race since before Obama was even declared the leader of the Democratic Party, and alongside regular bets like ?who will win the presidential election?? strange banana-related bets have also appeared.
So, let us for once skip the usual antics surrounding the entire Democratic campaign, and take a look at the kinds of things that people in Britain wanted to spend their money on during the US election process.
Aside from the ?banana? bet, which was given odds of 1,000 to 1 according to Yahoo News, people were willing to place bets on whether Obama would again mention the puppy he’d promised his family during his acceptance speech, such as what breed it might be.
Bettors were even willing to dole out some of their cash for the 1,000 to 1 odds that the inaugural speech would actually include the name of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Odds were reported to be measly on the gambling website Betsson for the most likely of phrases to be heard in Tuesday’s speech, such as 1.01 to 1 for ?the United States? and 1.03 for ?change.?
As it turned out, nobody cashed out for ?banana,? but the real surprise was the fact that so-called easy bets like ?the United States? and even ?change? didn’t pay off.
So what did bettors actually benefit from during the history-making inaugural speech? After Paddy Power paid off early for Obama’s win in the election, the best bet to have made was on the opening line of the speech: ?As I stand here today.? That opener paid off at 12 to 1.
If you feel like you’ve missed out on the fun, don’t worry! You’re still able to place bets on whether or not one of Obama’s daughters will win the presidency further down the line, and what major event or legislation is bound to be the first to occur during the new administration.