This past Tuesday, President Trump faced the nation from the Oval Office. While some were intently glued to the TV screen to see if the MAGA chief would declare a national emergency in order to fund his border wall, others were glued for an entirely different reason. They had placed wagers on how often he would stumble or provide misinformation, and they wanted to keep track of their winnings.
According to a report by BuzzFeed News, BookMaker, an online gambling house, opened up the betting markets to see how many “false statements” Trump would utter during his speech. The odds consultant for the site, John Lester, said in an interview with the New York Daily News that BookMaker purposely did not refer to them as “lies” in order to not have to “prove that the President is intentionally misleading the public.”
The over-under was set at just 3.5 – 145 for more than 3.5 lies and +115 for less than that amount. Lester states that the site raked in “over $100,000 in action on this wager in the first twelve hours alone.” In a separate conversation with BuzzFeed, he added, “With all the cable networks agreeing to air the speech, it came down to, how many times is the president willing to exaggerate the truth to accomplish his agenda when he knows the world will be scrutinizing his every word?”
Queue the Washington Post. It reported that Trump uttered 11 “untruths” that included exaggerating a new trade deal with Mexico and asserting that his U.S.-Mexico border wall would help prevent heroin from entering the country. In fact, according to separate studies, 90% of drugs that enter the U.S. are smuggled in through legal ports.
BookMaker is now on the hook for a substantial amount of money, as the gamblers seemed to have emerged victorious from the Oval Office address. According to Lester, 92% of gamblers were able to correctly place their bets, anticipating that Trump would provide a number of “untruths.” The company is going to have to pay out $276,424, according to BookMaker, and Lester adds, “It’s a bad day for Truthiness and Bookmaker. We knew we were in trouble early with this one.”