Bookmaker calls race for Clinton, pays out $1 million in bets

Hillary Clinton
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Hillary Clinton

Though there are still three weeks left to the presidential election, one prominent bookmaker already has called the race.

Ireland's Paddy Power has paid off on more than $1 million in bets on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who has become a whopping 2-to-11 favorite to become the nation's 45th president and defeat Republican challenger Donald Trump. The odds translate into an 84.6 percent chance of winning, the bookmaker said.

"Trump gave it a hell of a shot going from a rank outsider to the Republican candidate but the recent flood of revelations have halted his momentum and his chances now look as patchy as his tan," a company spokesman said in a statement.

"Recent betting trends have shown one way traffic for Hillary, and punters seemed to have called it 100 percent correct," the statement continued. "Despite Trump's 'make America great again' message appealing to many disillusioned voters, it looks as though America [is] going to put a woman in the White House."

Paddy Power had done similar early payouts before, correctly anticipating that Scottish voters would opt to stay in the European Union and that President Barack Obama would win re-election in 2012, but missing the mark in anticipation that Greeks would approve an austerity referendum and that Tiger Woods would win the 2009 PGA Championship.

Early payouts are generally seen as a publicity gesture for bookmakers. Should Trump score an upset, it will trigger "the biggest political payout in bookmaking history and leave Paddy Power with some very expensive pie on its face," said Paddy Power blogger Josh Powell.

Online prediction market sites also have Clinton as a huge favorite. PredictIt puts her chances at about 82 percent; PredictWise has her at 91 percent and the Iowa Electronic Markets estimates the probability at 86 percent.

Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight site shows Clinton would have an 89.4 percent chance if the election was held today.