By Callum Kerr
AS the 2016 calendar year draws to a close there has only been one stand alone term to describe this year – unpredictability.
At the end of every year the metaphorical bookmaker rubs his hands at a successful 12 months of dipping from the pockets of gamblers; but 2016 has thrown a few curveballs, providing sleepless nights for some of our favourite bookies.
Looking solely at three individual events this year, UWSnewsroom posed the question: How did they get it so wrong?
Our treble kicked off in May, with possibly the greatest moment in sport’s history: Leicester City winning the Barclays Premier League.
On May 2, a 2-2 draw between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea gifted the Foxes the league title, and sealed the fate of the pay-out bookmakers.
Leicester City started the campaign as 5,000-1 outsiders, yes, 5,000 to 1 – just think if you splashed a £1 you would have been part of the bookies £25 million payout.
On the field it was branded by punters as a “miracle” but off the park it was much more incredible than that.
The next time 2016 went off-script was the following month. On Thursday, June 23, Brits across the United Kingdom ventured to their polling stations to have their say on whether Britain should remain in the European Union.
It almost felt that the EU Referendum was thought up just to entertain the European skeptics in Westminster and not many in Parliament believed that giving the people a voice would result in Article 50 being triggered – the bookies thought along the same lines.
But in an incredible turn of events, the results down south started to swing and soon enough our fate was sealed: the verdict was Brexit.
When the result become clear in the early hours of the 24th, emotions were running high, mixed feelings of shock, anger, pride… and for the bookies – regret.
In fact, the bookies were so confident Brexit would not happen that on the day Paddy Power were only giving 1/4 on a remain vote coming in.
For the few who knew better, they were able to take advantage of odds better than 10/1 all the way up to the day of the vote. The odds did not swing in favour of Brexit until hours before the result was definite.
The bet to complete our accumulator came on November 8, in what will go down as one of the most bizarre US presidential campaigns in history, Donald Trump soared to an incredible victory.
The controversial businessman began 2016 as somewhat of a laughing stock, unfit to be president and only supported by a small but passionate fan base in the south.
His race to the Oval Office against bookies favourite Hilary Clinton was filled with scrutiny; but even racial slurs, tax scandals and groping woman couldn’t stop our favourite WWE Hall of Fame from reaching the top spot.
Trump started the final week of campaigning with a 5/1 price tag and limited chance of winning, however if you were ahead of the game you could have revelled in the 150/1 odds he began with.
It has been an unprecedented 12 months. The phrase ‘you never see a poor bookie’ is still very much true, but if you dare to dream, who knows what paydays 2017 might hold.
And if you had been willing to put a £1 on that treble coming up, you would now be a millionaire eight times over.