by John Murray
When it comes to having a festive flutter, the bookies know it’s odds on people are going to bet on what’s Top of the Pops or if it snows on Christmas Day.
For decades punters have chosen to have a bit of fun with their gambling at this time of year and old favourites like what’s number one in the charts or if it will snow on Christmas Day are said to be as popular as ever.
William Hill spokesperson, Joe Crilly said: “For a good number of years the X Factor ruined Christmas number one.
“It doesn’t have the same hold over the charts that it used to and more people are starting to bet on who will be the top spot again.
“Stars still release banger after banger after banger in the hope they get it. Lewis Capaldi is favourite and Robbie Williams is also in the running. He’s just released a Christmas album so he might win.
“The celebrity X Factor is sitting at 10-1.
“The nature of the charts and streaming has made it a bit more confusing to follow but it’s still a popular alternative bet.”
While betting on the hit parade might occupy the number one spot for people’s favourite yuletide punt, whether and where it snows on Christmas Day is straight in at number two.
“Sometimes we think people aren’t going to be bothered about betting on a white Christmas but as soon as there is a lot of snow or a lot of rain or a very cold spell people think about it and are triggered into placing their bets.
“We get information from weather stations in airports up and down the country and we pay out on different areas having snow this Christmas.
“Aberdeen is 9/4, Penzance is 12/1 and Glasgow is 5/2.”
As well as gambling on pop songs and snow, ‘a trend in the last few years’ has been to bet on what TV show will achieve the highest Christmas Day ratings.
“Mrs Brown’s Boys had between eight and nine million viewers last year. Normally what’s on BBC 1 after the Queens speech does well probably because people wake up from their food and booze coma and tune in.
“The most watched show this year is predicted to be Gavin and Stacey.”
Despite the season of good will being the best time for a novelty bet, Joe maintains sport and football in particular is the main source of Christmas betting.
“Sport is huge at this time of year. Football mainly because people are just sat in front of the telly for a week watching games.
“Amazon are showing every single Premier League match on Boxing Day so people will be on their laptops or phones betting on their favourites.”
Joe said in December 60% of their customers favour online betting compared to 40% who still use the bookies.
“In the run up to Christmas people go into the betting shops but over the holidays they tend to use their devices to gamble.”