Irish bookmaker Paddy Power are facing a €5 million loss thanks to the unexpected victory of Donald Trump following Tuesday’s US presidential election upset.
Paddy Power made headlines in October when it started paying out early for bets on Hillary Clinton to win following the revelation of the Inside Hollywood tape (then thought disastrous) that featured Trump bragging about past sexual assaults off camera. The early payouts totalled over €1 million.
“We’re in the business of making predictions and decided to put our neck on the line by paying out early on Hillary Clinton, boy did we get it wrong,” explained Paddy Power spokesperson Lewis Davey.
Thought to be the “most wagered” election in US history, Paddy Power now face another estimated €4 million in losses thanks to the relatively long odds they continued to place on a Trump win until the last moment.
Most bookmakers had a Trump win marked down as 4-1, while offering 1-5 odds on a Hillary triumph.
Speaking on the record loss, the firm’s eponymous owner said, “The one lesson that we have from this is that we should probably pay a little bit more attention to the money.
“There was a flood of bets coming in for Trump all the way through and we kind of thought that it was just because his odds were a bit more rewarding than Clinton’s odds.”
Shares in Paddy Power’s parent company, Paddy Power Betfair, fell 1.9% following the result.
On the upside, the Betfair betting exchange was extremely busy and took in £200 in trades for the election – beating the record for any sporting or political event in the change’s history. The value of the publicity garnered from the early payout may also offset any losses entirely.
While Paddy Power suffered, some individual punters have profited handsomely from the upset. Australian morning television presenter Samantha Armytage confessed on twitter yesterday: “I (randomly) put $100 on Trump to win. He was paying 100-1.”