Leicester City winning the Premier League, Brexit happening (well not quite yet), and Donald Trump being elected as US President – what were the odds on that? 3,000,000-1 to answer your question.
We made some big calls in Power Tower this year and somehow got them all wrong, so very wrong.
1. The 2016 US Election
Following on from a flood of allegations against Donald Trump arising from what he said on a tour bus show years ago, we thought the billionaires’ campaign was over and decided to take action.
A week before the election we paid out Hilary Clinton being the next president of the United States, meaning any customer who backed Hilary got their money early. This $1 million pay-out got a lot of attention and ended up back firing in spectacular fashion.
Trump started the election campaign as massive 100/1 outsider (November 2012-June 2015) but saw his odds freefall to as short as 13/8 (May 2016) at one point but revelations halted his momentum and caused his chances of victory to plummet like the value of sterling, resulting in chunky odds of 9/2 (representing a 18.2 per cent chance of winning, as of October 20).
Throughout this time Paddy Power punters piled into The Donald and availed of some serious chunky prices.
With Hilary backers already paid up the morning of the election was a dark one on the trading floor of Power Tower as the total loss for the US election came to $4.5million.
Another political underdog that no one saw coming, certainly no one that works for Paddy Power anyway. Some of our customers were a bit more astute, including one punter who pocketed a total of £40,000 on a Brexit and Trump double.
The shrewd 72-year-old from a small island of the United Kingdom backed the Brexit & Trump double back in June, pocketing himself a cool £13,800. He also placed several single bets backing The Donald, taking advantage of odds as big as 20/1 and mugging off Paddy in the process.
Noticing the similarities between Brexit and the US Election, he said: “The Brexit vote and Trump seemed kind of parallel. People are disaffected by everything happening in Westminster and that politicians there are out of touch with the rest of us, and I think American’s felt the exact same thing about those in Washington.”
“Even though I’d bet on Trump, I only told a couple of people I thought he’d win. They didn’t react well when I told him so I kept my opinions to myself.
“Like Brexit, you felt like a bit of a rebel for wanting a different outcome to what you’re being told you should want, we were the silent majority. Both were protest votes.”
3. Leicester winning the Premier League
We rated the chances of this happening at 5000/1 at the start of the season and left the odds pretty high until well into the second half of this incredible campaign. Costing us well over £2,000,000 in total.
Leicester, who were helped by the goals of Jamie Vardy and Tottenham being Tottenham, went all the way and won the title with a game to spare after Chelsea’s spiteful comeback against Spurs in Stamford Bridge.
Plenty of Paddy Power customers had the guts to back Leicester at various stages throughout the season and to celebrate their massive wins we got them on an open top bus around Leicester for the final day of the season.
Here’s hopping 2017 won’t be as expensive.