Specials Betting Television By Joe Crilly

A Short History Of Betting On Television

Just under 11% of all bets wagered on the outcome of the Lucy Beale storyline at William Hill have been for Abi Branning making her the most popular selection with the big reveal just days away.


William Hill also announced that they are taking upwards of 2,000 bets per day as the British public have become swept up in the fervour of one of the biggest stories in soapland.


Abi is the 5/1 favourite with Ben Mitchell, Bobby Beale and Jane Beale all 11/2.


“We have been betting on this storyline for a year now and we are still none the wiser,” said William Hill spokeasman Joe Crilly. “The fact that the best backed culprit has only attracted 11% of all wagers indicates that our punters have no idea either.”


William Hill first started betting on the outcome of particular storylines in fictional TV shows at the start of the eighties when they accepted wagers on “Who Shot JR”. The move was unprecedented in betting circles and at some points, betting on Dallas outweighed takings on the horseracing.


Since then, betting on TV has expanded not just to soaps but on reality TV and even shows such as Broadchurch and the Missing.


Over 2,000 new accounts have been set up with the sole purpose of having a wager on who killed Lucy Beale to add to the nearly 26,000 who have already put their sleuthing to the test.


Who killed Lucy Beale: 5/1 Abi Branning; 11/2 Ben Mitchell; 11/2 Bobby Beale; 11/2 Jane Beale; 8/1 Jay Brown; 8/1 Les Coker; 9/1 Peter Beale; 10/1 Sharon Mitchell; 12/1 Charlie Cotton; 12/1 Cindy Beale; 12/1 Cora Cross; 12/1 Ian Beale; 16/1 Denise Fox; 16/1 Phil Mitchell;; 20/1 BAR


Betting on TV a short history:


1981: “Who Shot JR” £250,000 was wagered in total although most of it was paid back when fancied second favourite Kristen was outed as the killer.


2000: The first series of Big Brother attracts over £1m worth of bets


2001: “Who shot Phil Mitchell” £200,000 was wagered with Lisa the red hot 8/11 favourite.


2004: More than £1m wagered on X Factor that was won by 2/1 favourite Steve Brookstein


2010: “Who killed Archie” £500,000 was wagered with Stacey the 7/2 favourite


2013: “Broadchurch” £100,000 was wagered with Joe Miller the 8/11 favourite


2014: “The Missing” £20,000 was wagered with Alain Deloix being cut from 33/1 to 4/1 on the eve of the finale.