Forget sports for a few minutes and enter the world of special event betting; it is mind-bogglingly bizarre and may contain some markets that you would never guessed were available.
We’ve covered political betting and television show bets elsewhere on this site; see this as the introduction to all of the other stuff that has markets built around it!
What Sort Of Markets Are Available?
The interesting thing about these bets is that anything can have a market. If you’re parent to a budding footballing toddler, you can ask your local bookmaker to give you odds on him playing for your home country’s national team when he’s older. You might have to wait a bit for the reply to come back, but you will get odds if you ask for them.
Here’s a quick sample list of some markets available at the time of writing from different bookmakers:
Next person to appear on the £20 note after Adam Smith (Paddy Power)
William Blake 5/2
Beatrix Potter – 3/1
JMW Turner – 4/1
John Constable – 6/1
At the time of writing Betfair are offering odds of 4/1 for Oasis to play at Glastonbury 2016.
Papal opportunities are usually always on offer; William Hill has a market on who will be the next Pope (after Francis I). Here’s a sample:
Luis Antonio Tagle – 6/1
Marc Ouellet – 7/1
Angelo Scola – 7/1
Sean O’Malley – 14/1
Peter Erdo – 20/1
Wilfred Napier – 50/1
James Bond even has markets around it, with the most popular one concerning who will play the role next. Current odds from Ladbrokes at the time of writing are:
Damian Lewis – 7/4 (he was 14/1 in 2013!)
Idris Elba – 3/1
Henry Cavill – 4/1
David Beckham – 200/1
I could list pages and pages of these! More often than not, these markets are created to get the bookmaker’s name into the newspapers. When Daniel Craig steps down it’s likely that most media outlets will quote the prices from Ladbrokes (or another bookmaker) when they discuss the likely candidates to take over the role of James Bond, and the White Christmas markets will commonly be quoted in the run up to Christmas.
See them for what they are, a bit of fun. But now and again, a price will appear that seems too good to be true. Winning a 6/1 White Christmas bet gives you the same amount of money back as if you won a 6/1 horse race, so if the nags aren’t helping your pocket, take a break and have a look through these markets. You may know something the bookmaker doesn’t.
To find these markets on bookmaker websites you usually need to look in the A-Z menu of sports and look for links such as ‘Specials’ or ‘TV/Specials’. Paddy Power list them as ‘Novelty Bets’.