Bookies Pay Out on Longshot Clinton Bets

At 100-to-1, Hillary's victory startles political gambling websites
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2008 12:39 PM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., embraces her husband former President Clinton during a victory party after winning the New Hampshire Democratic primary in Manchester, N.H.,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Clinton supporters of an apolitical kind had reason to celebrate after her surprise win in New Hampshire: bettors on a Hillary victory reaped huge payoffs after her odds dropped to a low of 100-to-1. Bloomberg reports that the Dublin-based Intrade had made an Obama result a near certainty, leaving contrarians who bet $100 holding a bag of $10,000.

Prices on Intrade fluctuate over time, settling at $10 if the candidate wins and nothing if they lose, and by Tuesday evening shares in a Clinton victory were trading for pennies. Political markets "cannot predict the future with 100% accuracy," conceded Intrade's CEO; "If they could, we would have found the ultimate money-making machine." Today's odds on the eventual nomination: Clinton 59%, Obama 39%.