Betting on the opposition (HLD 231)

8 Nov 2020

Well supposedly the American election is sorted. New President elected, half the country are happy and half are upset. I will wait until we see the new bloke move into the White House to believe this, though – because the incumbent is a little litigious, and is quite convinced that he was the actual winner.

But apart from the will he/won’t he discussions about how the transition to power may happen, there is a very significant discussion to be had, in my mind.

Someone I know (not me, nor my immediate family) – had quite a reasonable sized bet on the winner of this election. It wasn’t the one he probably wanted to win, but on the one who he figured to be, in his description, bat sh*t crazy. He wasn’t so much betting on who he thought would be a good person for the role, but more on who he thought the American public would vote for.

But it brought to mind some discussions we’ve had at football games over the years, about putting a bet on the opposition team to win. Usually this discussion was brought about when our own team was winning, despite the other team being the highly fancied favourites. I always had this theory that if you had a bet on the opposition team winning the game, you really were in a win/win situation. Your team wins – hallelujah! A victory! The opposition wins, bah humbug, but at least you win some money out of it.

I never did anything about it, other than discussing the possibilities. Number one reason – I’m not the worlds most bet-ey person, and secondly I’d have to forgo coffee or wine money to do so.

There are people, of course, who would bet on anything. I did a quick look at what you could bet on, if you were so inclined. And yes there are a LOT of things bookmakers would be happy to take your money on, not just horse racing and US presidents!

Whether it’s snow at Christmas, what colour hat the Queen will wear to Ascot, whether a public figure will get assassinated, when aliens will make contact – you name it, there’s a betting option available.

One of the bets discussed intrigued me though – what year the world will end! How are they intending to collect their winnings???

Like the incumbent US president, my friend with the bet on the outcome is not declaring defeat just yet. He will wait until all the legal avenues have been explored by the incumbent, before declaring it was a waste of perfectly good coffee money.

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