Paddy Power pays out early on Obama victory


The general public may still be weighing up who came off best in the concluding US presidential debate last night but Irish bookmaker Paddy Power today said it is to pay out early on Barack Obama becoming president.

The bookmaker said this morning it is to pay out in excess of €1 million to punters who have bet on the Illinois senator taking over the world's top job in three weeks time.

More than 10,000 bets have been placed on the 2008 presidential election with Paddy Power in Ireland, with the majority placed in support of Mr Obama over the past 12 months.

Mr Obama was a massive 50/1 with Paddy Power to be the next US president back in May of 2005. One inspired punter who will be celebrating today had a long range wager of €50 at these odds which has led to a return of €2,550.

The largest single bet placed on Mr Obama was €100,000 in June at odds of 1-2 which has led to returns of €150,000 today.

“We declare this race well and truly over and congratulate all those who backed Obama, your winnings await you. Although the Senator seemed a little off sorts in last night's final debate we believe he has done more than enough to get him across the line on November 4th. The overall betting trend has shown one way traffic for Obama since the start of the summer and punters seemed to have called it 100 per cent correct," the bookmaker said in a statement.

In January, Paddy Power paid out over €50,000 to punters who backed the senator to be nominated as the Democratic Party candidate, seven months before the party's convention took place.

The bookmaker said it continues to offer betting on the election outcome right up to and including November 4th. It said that one of its most popular bets currently on offer is predicting the winning margin of the successful nominee.