Against All Odds

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THE PLANK OCTOBER 31, 2007

Against All Odds

Yesterday, Isaac pointed out the outlandishness of British betting house William Hill having Ron Paul listed at 12-1 odds of winning the presidency, versus 33-1 odds for John McCain. But it's hardly the only peculiarity one can find over there. At 10-1, Al Gore is evidently as likely to be the next president as Barack Obama, and twice as likely as John Edwards, who's currently a tempting bet at 20-1 -- only a slightly less lucrative proposition than the vastly more implausible scenario of an Independent winning the election, which pays a paltry 25-1. Those looking for a real dark horse should probably go with Dodd or Biden over Kucinich, given that all three pay out at 100-1 and only one of them has communed with extraterrestrials.

Alex Massie cautions that "trying to outsmart the bookies - and the market - is a mug's game. Perhaps Hills know something we don't." I suppose this could be true, though it would hardly explain why the betting house is offering identical odds for a Hillary Clinton victory and a victory by any Democrat, both of which are listed at 2-5. Far be it from me to condone gambling, but should any enterprising Planksters happen to make a killing over there, I trust they'll remember their friends...

--Christopher Orr 

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