The greater the risk, the greater the reward. Or at least that's how it works some of the time. And this election cycle was one of those times for a British real estate mogul who won a million and a half dollars betting on Donald Trump to win the general election.
The odds were definitely against him. But the man, named Vincent Tchenguiz, had enough faith in the Don to put a significant amount of money on his presidential success. He bet £350,000 between two brokers, Betfair and Spreadex. His winnings total up to about £850,000.
The odds were more profitable than maybe they should have been, considering how much of a surprise Trump's win apparently was to everyone.
"I'm surprised by how everybody is stunned that actually won. I didn't think that it was so black and white. But people are so shocked - I should have got much better odds," said Tchenguiz.
The bet may not have even been politically motivated. He may have just seen a good opportunity. When asked about his allegiances he dodged the question. "Am I happy? I'm not going to comment, happy or not happy. We'll see where it goes. Some of his policies are pretty good, some he will have to tone down. There is going to be a lot of change."
There is going to be an especially large amount of change for Tchenguiz. Hopefully he uses the money for something constructive and doesn't just build a secret lair under the Eye of London.
But he wasn't alone. According to the Wall Street Journal, "The U.S. election attracted more bets than any other political gamble even in the U.K., with what bookies estimate at around £200 million worth of wages."
Received wisdom in the days leading up to the election was that Hillary had it on lock. Turns out political forecasters and pollsters are now about as disrespected in America as weathermen. Well, probably even more so. Nate Silver is going to have a hard time trotting his horse and pony show around television in any future election. Or at least he won't have the air of impenetrable wisdom and technological mastery as fueled his popularity, and the popularity of people like him.
To make the most cliche possible point, the Trump presidency itself is a gamble. There, it's been said. And we all have to wait and see what happens after we rolled these dice. Ugh. I'm sorry for this.