There are about 21 days left until Election Day, but one bookie has already said the race is over. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power said Tuesday it has paid out more than $1,000,000 to bettors who wagered on a victory for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The polls are showing Clinton up by a pretty wide margin and Paddy Power has apparently seen enough. Before paying out, the bookie pegged the former secretary of state's odds at 2/11 or an 85.7 percent shot at winning. The bookie had Trump at 100/1 at the beginning of his campaign. At the time they paid out he was at 9/2, or an 18.2 percent shot at winning.
"Trump gave it a hell of a shot going from a rank outsider to the Republican candidate but the recent flood of revelations have halted his momentum and his chances now look as patchy as his tan," the company said in a statement. "Recent betting trends have shown one way traffic for Hillary and punters seemed to have called it 100 [percent] correct. Despite Trump’s Make America Great Again message appealing to many disillusioned voters, it looks as though America are going to put a woman in the White House."
Paddy Power is known for these types of stunts. There isn't much of a straightforward financial benefit to paying out early, only the prospect of drawing attention to the firm and hopefully attracting new gamblers. Some risks taken by Paddy Power have worked out in the past, like in 2012, when the company paid out bettors who wagered on a win for President Barack Obama two days before Election Day.
There have also been costly backfires. In 2009, the company paid out early on a Tiger Woods win in golf's PGA Championship only to have relative unknown Y.E. Yang shock the game's best player on the final day of the tournament. Paddy Power also lost big on a 2013 early pay out on a Premier League title for Manchester United, who collapsed at the end of the season.
Most professional prediction-makers and pundits do believe a Clinton victory is highly likely. The Real Clear Politics average of polls has her up nearly 7 points nationally over Trump, and new swing-state polling from the Washington Post and SurveyMonkey Tuesday showed Clinton leading in a number of key states. Data-driven website FiveThirtyEight, meanwhile, gave her an 87.4 percent chance of winning the election, according to the site's polls-only election forecast. The Washington Post also published a piece Tuesday declaring the GOP nominee's path to victory wasn't narrow, it was non-existent. The only question left was Clinton's margin of victory, said columnist Stuart Rothenberg.
The folks over at Paddy Power certainly hope all these experts are right, because if Trump ends up winning "it will trigger the biggest political payout in bookmaking history," the company said in a statement.