A wagering website lost nearly $300,000 because it allowed people to make wagers on how often United States President Donald Trump would lie during last night’s prime time speech from the Oval Office, which was his first during his presidency.
According to a report from the Independent, the site Bookmaker.eu lost $276,424 by allowing users to place the bets about Trump’s possible false statements. The site set the odds at -145 odds that president Trump would lie more than 3.5 times during the nationally televised speech. The odds for fewer than 3.5 mistruths was No. 115.
Unfortunately for the site but fortunately for those who placed bets, 92 percent of people who put money on the odds predicted that Trump would lie four or more times. Odds consultant John Lester told Buzzfeed News, “It’s a bad day for Truthiness and Bookmaker. We knew we were in trouble early with this one.”
During his speech, the president declared he wanted $5.7 billion to build a wall on the U.S./Mexican border. His demands have led to a partial government shutdown that is into its third week with no end in sight. Trump refused to sign any budget that Congress passes unless it includes the money to built the physical barrier, but Congress does not seem inclined to pass such a budget. The Inquisitr reported that Trump’s meeting with key members of Congress today ended with no resolution because Trump walked out of it when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told Trump that she would not include the money in the budget if he opened the government as soon as possible.
— Independent US (@IndyUSA) January 9, 2019
Lester explained how the site created the odds, which turned out to be quite low.
“We figured the president’s strategy going in would be a bit of fear mongering to create pressure on the Democrats to approve the funding of the wall (or barrier), however, the president was also constrained by an approximate 8-minute time limit. 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?”
In the end, though, the site used the fact checker from the Washington Post for its official count of Trump lies during the speech. They fact-checked the president six times during the brief prime time address, which spelled a massive loss for Bookmaker and a huge win for those who placed bets on over 3.5 lies.
The site set the bet limit for typical wagers at $2,000 but allowed larger bets for clients who requested it. The most substantial wagers of the evening ended up being for $25,000, $20,000, and $15,000, and they all took over 3.5 lies, which of course, ended up being winning wagers. Given the length of the speech, Trump averaged a false statement every one and one-third minute of speaking.