milindri/iStock/Thinkstock(DUBLIN) – One of Europe’s biggest bookmakers is counting on the luck of the Irish.
Paddy Power, an Irish company that operates a chain of betting shops across the United Kingdom, is so confident that Hillary Clinton will win the election in three weeks’ time that it is already paying out winnings to customers who bet in favor of the Democratic presidential nominee.
According to Paddy Power spokesman Féilim Mac An Iomaire, the company is making payments to about 6,000 customers. The average person will be collecting about $170, he told ABC News by phone from Dublin, Ireland.
It’s a bold bet: Back in June, bookmakers on the British Isles were way off when it came to the so-called Brexit vote — which ultimately saw the United Kingdom electing to leave the European Union.
“Every poll was pointing to Britain voting to remain,” Mac an Iomaire said. “We had Remain at 1 to 9, which was even shorter than Hillary Clinton, in fact.”
At the moment, the bookies have Clinton’s odds of winning at 2 to 11.
A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted of U.S. voters and published on Oct. 16 showed Clinton leading Donald Trump 47-43 percent.
“It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that we’re wrong here,” said Mac An Iomaire. Indeed, the company’s gotten it wrong in the past, he said, with some bets involving Premier League football (soccer).
If it’s wrong this time, it will be costly.
“It would be our worst political result in history if he were to win,” he said. “We would have to make a very significant seven-figure payout.”
He added: “We’d end up with some very expensive pie on our face.”
But the bookies remain confident. They paid out early during the 2012 U.S. election, presuming a Barack Obama victory. And, Mac An Iomaire said, “Hillary was odds on for the majority of” this cycle.
“The interest on this side of the Atlantic is absolutely extraordinary. This could be our biggest political betting market ever,” Mac An Iomaire said.
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