Wednesday, September 22, 2004


Betting on Michael Moore

I came upon an interesting little story on from the Daily Telegraph:
THE most accurate way to pick the outcome of the election is to ask a bookie, new research has found.

By October 9, thousands of Australians will have bet up to $2 million on who will win.

Compared to opinion polls and economic models, betting odds are the best guide because people who make the bets are usually political insiders, ANU academic Dr Andrew Leigh said.

"With pollsters, people will often say anything to get them off the phone," Dr Leigh said. "On the betting markets, people are putting their money where their mouth is."

He made the conclusion after comparing the predictions of the 2001 election.

Centrebet accurately predicted the winners in 43 out of 47 marginal seats.

"That was quite an extraordinary result," Dr Leigh said.

Centrebet odds have not once placed Labor as the election favourite since it started taking bets in June last year.

By these lights, things are not looking so good for Australia's Labor party.

Betting on a proposition such as "Labor will/will not win the election" is a famously British/Australian amusement. Since many Americans don't know who's actually running for office (or who's in office), they tend to restrict their flutters to sports propositions, such as "Will the Washington Redskins beat the New York Giants by 3 points or more?"

But offshore gambling may be changing all that.

I thought you might like to know the odds offered by on Michael Moore's living a happy life between now and November 2:

Michael Moore Will Suffer One or More Before 11/2/04
  1. Sudden Death
  2. Contracts Serious And/Or Terminal Illness.
  3. Mysteriously Disappears
  4. Sued By The Bush Family
  5. Assets Seized Or Frozen By The Govt
  6. Indicted By A Grand Jury
  7. Compromising Porn Material Sufaces On The Internet
  8. Captured And Beheaded
  9. Kidnapped By Iraquis While On USO Tour
  10. Body Is Found Along Side Of Jimmy Hoffa's

The odds are "Yes +1000     No -1500," which means the odds are "for" Moore's survival.

If you wanted to wager that none of these events will happen, you would have to bet $1500 to win $1000. On the other hand, if you bet $1000 that one (or more) of these events will occur, you would win $1500 if one of these events does occur.

I would have to think this over carefully.

Meanwhile, here are some odds on a few lesser known personnages:

Will NJ Governor McGreevey Step Down Before Nov 15
 Yes  +290
 No  -320

The bookmakers are predicting that McGreevey will not step down.

Who Wins State Of Florida - 2004 Pres Election
 John Kerry  +160
 George W. Bush  -190

Bush is favored.

Who will be the next President of the United States
 John Kerry  +170
 George W. Bush  -200

Bush is favored.

Keep in mind that the odds change constantly, so don't despair, you Kerry fans. Now is the time to place your bets before the odds go against you.

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