The Daily Record carries a story this evening about a man placing a £200,000 bet with William Hill on a No vote in the independence referendum.
And readers might be forgiven for finding it a bit familiar.
“A CUSTOMER IN A William Hill Glasgow betting shop has gambled £200,000 – believed to be the largest political bet ever struck – that the outcome of the 2014 Scottish Referendum will be a vote AGAINST Independence.
‘We have never taken a bigger bet than this on any political subject.’ said Hill’s spokesman Graham Sharpe. ‘The man, in his late fifties, with a pronounced Scottish accent, and a stranger to staff, struck one bet of £30,000 at odds of 1/5, then returned to place another, of £70,000 at the same odds, before placing a third, of £100,000 at odds by now shortened to 1/6. He stands to make a total profit of £36,666.'”
That second quote is from the William Hill website, almost exactly a year ago. And when an alert reader spotted it, we were about to dismiss is as one of the weird database quirks that you sometimes see in online newspapers where an old story will occasionally appear to have been printed today unless you look very closely at the dateline, because we clearly remembered the bet being reported widely at the time.
That was until we read this bit in the Record article:
There’s no mistake here. And no innocent confusion by a careless hack lifting the story off the internet without noticing the year either, because the Hills story is dated the 24th of June 2013, and eagle-eyed calendar watchers will of course be aware that it’s currently only the 9th of June this year.
(Hills’ current odds for a No vote have gotten rather more generous since then as the polls have narrowed, with a rather more lucrative 1/4 on offer, which would have netted the punter £50,000 in profit in the event of a No rather than £36,667 had he actually placed it this month – well over a third more.)
Readers can speculate for themselves why the Record has chosen to run what’s obviously an old story in an attempt to make it look like people are putting their money on a No vote. But we’re not taking any bets.