Well now, when Elf Hellion sent me this piece I was amazed at the confidence in the result that this bookie showed... I mean... damn! Then I read further that they do this a lot, but still... so let's hope (and pray if you're into that) that Paddy's not embarrassed on the day... even though I prefer Ron Paul, who hasn't voted with the corporate scum or been AIPACed... not that he has a chance, but Obama has at least a theoretical chance of actually doing something good.
Thu Oct 16, 3:22 PM ET
DUBLIN, Ireland - The race is over as far as Ireland's biggest bookmaker is concerned.
Paddy Power PLC says it is so sure Barack Obama will win the U.S. presidential election next month that it paid off Thursday on all bets it had taken backing the Democratic candidate. It said it shelled out more than €1 million, about $1.35 million.
"We declare this race well and truly over and congratulate all those who backed Obama — your winnings await you," the company said in a statement.
Paddy Power has a long tradition of winning free publicity by paying off early, particularly on political contests — and it also has a recent record of getting the result spectacularly wrong.
In June, the company paid out early in favor of people who bet Irish voters would approve the European Union's latest treaty in a referendum. The next day, a "no" result sent shock waves across the 27-nation EU, and cost Powers a hefty sum since it ended up paying off both sides of the bet.
The same thing would happen to Powers if it guessed wrong about the U.S. election. The pro-Obama bettors would keep the winnings paid out Thursday, while John McCain backers would cash in, too.
Powers said the biggest winner among the Obama bettors was someone who gambled €100,000 and got back a total of €150,000.
The most visionary bettor, though, was the "punter" who put down €50 on Obama in 2005. At the time, Obama was listed at 50-to-1, so the bettor got €2,550.
Despite calling the contest, the Dublin-based bookmaker said it is still taking new bets on the race. A John McCain victory Nov. 4 on a bet placed Thursday would pay off €5 for every €1 bet. By contrast, each €1 bet on Obama would net just 11 € cents.
On the Net:
Paddy Power presidential odds: http://tinyurl.com/43xdfz