You Weren't Supposed to Put Money on that George Clooney-for-President Bet

Clooney and wife Amal Alamuddin standing in a water taxi at Venice's Grand Canal Photograph by Pierre Teysscot/AFP via Getty Images

If you thought George Clooney’s wedding was just a ploy to further his political ambitions, you have company. You can make a wager if you think you’re onto something bigger.

Upon news of the wedding, British betting house William Hill put forth 200-1 odds that Clooney would become president of the U.S. in his lifetime. “Originally we did it as fun around the wedding,” says Rupert Adams, a William Hill spokesman, “but people took it seriously, so we had to change the price.”

The original 200-1 odds are now at 100-1, “and we could get up to a six-figure sum in the next week” as the bets keep rolling in. Says Adams: “The U.K. public doesn’t believe the U.S. would vote a single man into the White House, and Clooney now has the whole package. He’s a genuine contender.”

In 2012, William Hill took on $2 million worth of presidential election bets—with Barack Obama the red-hot favorite throughout.

Compared to other celebrities, Clooney by far has the best lifetime odds:

• 100-1, Clooney
• 250-1, Will Smith
• 500-1, Lady Gaga
• 500-1, Tiger Woods

“People jumped on Tiger Woods several years ago after he made comments about possibly entering politics, but that was before his naughty behavior came out,” says Adams. “U.S. politics is a big thing in the U.K., and that’s why Clooney is drawing so much attention.”

Adams believes Clooney needs to spend more time at the grass-roots level, perhaps become a governor first, or raise more money through the Democratic party machine. “It’s part of a long-term package, because it’s too late for him to be on the party’s ticket.” which is why Clooney’s odds for the upcoming 2016 election are only 500-1. Look toward 2020 or beyond for a possible payoff. Lifetime odds currently trading at 100-1 might be a good bet.

William Hill’s 2016 Presidential Odds

• 5-4, Hillary Clinton
• 9-1, Marco Rubio
• 10-1, Jeb Bush
• 12-1, Chris Christie
• 12-1, Rand Paul
• 16-1, Elizabeth Warren
• 16-1, Joe Biden
• 18-1, Paul Ryan
• 20-1, Mitt Romney
• 50-1, Sarah Palin
• 100-1, Rick Perry
• 100-1, Michelle Obama
• 500-1, George Clooney

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.
    LEARN MORE