Seems Alistair Darling’s historic budget announcement this week hurt more than just earners of more than £150k/year – the bookies also took a battering.
Last Monday, the BBC printed this story highlighting how you could make some cash out of the budget no matter what drastic measures Darling announced. Ladbrokes were taking bets for everything from tie colour to phrases used in the speech. A black tie? 25-1. Using the word ‘sorry’? 14-1.
So how did they fare? Not so well according to Labrokes spokesman David Williams: “We lost a few grand on the tie. When we first saw it, we knew we’d be in for a nightmare. One man rung up claiming that it had a grey stripe, and he bet £20 on a grey tie at 16-1. So we thought, for the sake of £320 we’d let him have it. We normally do these for a bit of fun, but this one really bit us in the bum.”
By the looks of the Chancellor’s tie, anything from green to blue to brown could have paid off. His speech clocked in at 51 minutes, which didn’t cause a great upset, but the main relief for Ladbrokes came with the omission of the word sorry. “We would have lost £53,000 if he had said sorry,” says Williams, “So we’re not sorry that he didn’t say sorry.”