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Betting on the Odds

I guess you can’t get much more odd than the current presidential candidates, so you may as well bet on the odds. And you can. For the first time ever, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (located in Canada) is taking bets on the US presidential election.

Here are the current payouts, based on a bet of one dollar a week ago:


Hillary Clinton $1.05
Bernie Sanders $7.50
John Kerry $67
Martin O’Malley $67
Elizabeth Warren $101
Jim Webb $101
Andrew Cuomo $101


Marco Rubio $2.50
Donald Trump $3.25
Ted Cruz $3.25
Jeb Bush $8.50
Chris Christie $13.00
Ben Carson $51.00
John Kasich $101.00
Carly Fiorina $101.00
Mike Huckabee $101.00
Rand Paul $101.00
Michael Bloomberg $151.00


Hillary Clinton $1.60
Marco Rubio $6
Donald Trump $5
Ted Cruz $8
Jeb Bush $19
Bernie Sanders $19
Chris Christie $23
John Kasich $101
Ben Carson $81
Carly Fiorina $101

As you can see, Hillary Clinton is the odds on favorite to win both the Democratic nomination and the presidency. Interestingly, Marco Rubio is more likely to get the Republican nomination than Donald Trump, but Trump is more likely to win the presidency. Ted Cruz is just as likely as Trump to win the GOP nomination, but is far less likely to be elected president than Trump, Rubio, or (of course) Clinton.

This is pretty much as I see it as well. Of course, in real life anything can happen.



  1. Max wrote:

    The numbers shows Trump as more likely to be President than Rubio, although Rubio is listed first ($6 vs $5).

    [oops, I said it backwards, fixed. –iron]

    Friday, January 15, 2016 at 1:01 am | Permalink
  2. westomoon wrote:

    I’m not sure how reliable a guide this Canadian oddsmaking is — they’re taking bets on 3 Dems who never even declared, and one R who’s been an Independent for some years (as well as not a Presidential candidate). Nate Silver this ain’t.

    Friday, January 15, 2016 at 12:21 pm | Permalink
  3. TJ wrote:

    Nate Silver is trying to predict the winner; that is not the goal of oddsmakers. The goal of an oddsmaker is to set the odds so that the net outcome will always be in favor of the house no matter who wins. So they are trying to ensure that any potential net payout to winners be covered by the income from all the losing bets.

    Friday, January 15, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink
  4. zyvlyn wrote:


    Exactly right. Odds don’t represent what the oddsmakers think. Odds represent what the people betting think.

    Friday, January 15, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink
  5. Wildwood wrote:

    I just finished a survey where at least three questions were in regards to voting for Bloomberg if he was a candidate. Questions like if the race was between Cruz, Clinton and Bloomberg, who would I pick.

    Friday, January 15, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    Bloomberg is reportedly trying to figure out if he can step in when the GOP primary falls apart.

    And thanks to everyone for the comments. The only thing I would add to what TJ and ZYVLYN said is that oddsmakers also have to make the bets attractive enough that people will make those bets.

    Friday, January 15, 2016 at 6:49 pm | Permalink