The Betting Phenomenom Of The Summer That Has Been Big Brother
"A correspondent from Scotland writes to enquire what odds he can get about Prince Phillip and Princess Margaret
both emulating the Queen Mum by living to be 100 and adds,
somewhat bizarrely,"would it be possible to place an each way bet?"
Edgware bus driver Paul Smith has placed the most optimistic bet of the football season - lashing out a quid that his team, Barnet,will not only win the 3rd Division title, but also top that achievement up by walking off with the FA Cup - oh, and the League, Worthington or whatever it is called this season, Cup,as well. You will not be surprised to know that he has got 250,000/1 for his money.
But the betting phenomenon of the summer has been Big Brother - which has produced a TV-related interest unheard of since the days twenty years or so ago when I opened a book on Who Shot JR? If you don't remember that, ask your mum and dad - by the way, it turned out to be Kristen who dun it. Spin off bets, apart from the betting on who would win the thing included the chances of competitor Caroline having a number one hit and the programme's theme tune also topping the charts.
If you were watching Big Brother a while back and switched over the BBC2 afterwards you may have caught an edition of the gambling based Jackpot documentary series which concentrated on some of the wackier punters who have placed bets with me - amongst them the persistent Scotty Braham who is convinced he has invented a perpetual motion machines and Stephen Andrews who took two grand off of us by losing ten stone in weight. Mr Andrews' story clealry struck a chord because since then I have been inundated with people wanting to bet that they too can shed a considerable percentage of their body weight in remarkably short spaces of time.
Many of them will be successful, but I always recall one of the first bets of this nature I was asked to accept, from a lady in Shoeburyness in Essex (where, coincidentally, I spent many childhood holidays) who told me she was a clairvoyant and that she wanted to bet that she could lose six stones. "But if you are a clairvoyant, you must KNOW that you're going to win the bet" I told her. Nevertheless, I couldn't resist laying her a bet - whereupon she promptly managed to put weight on and lose the wager.
We recently paid out a few hundred quid to a man who bet that the temperature would reach 80 degrees when he married and as I write this I'm waiting to see whether a bride to be who bet that it would pour with rain during her wedding would collect £300 after staking £30 at 10/1.
A correspondent from Scotland writes to enquire what odds he can get about Prince Phillip and Princess Margaret both emulating the Queen Mum by living to be 100 and adds, somewhat bizarrely, "would it be possible to place an each way bet?"
Even if they manage it they'll have to go some to match Charlie Boy Smith from Kent, currently a youngster in his seventies who has bet with me that he'll live to be 140 - I gave him 1,000,000/1 and I look forward to paying him out - because I'll be about 113 when he collects his winnings.
If you have any ideas for unusual bets of your own, please contact me at: