Budget 2017: the bizarre bets available

Will Hammond wear a tartan suit, will he promise to make Britain Great again?

Updated: 
File photo dated 07/02/17 of Chancellor Philip Hammond who has been urged to do more for family firms in this week's Budget.

When Philip Hammond tweeted ahead of his Budget that he was working on a Budget that would be good for everyone, he received a number of colourful responses. One of the most unexpected was from Ladbrokes, which responded "Could you avoid wearing a blue tie please?" The betting firms have quite a stake in The Budget, and some of the things you can bet on are most unexpected.

See also: Budget 2017: what can we expect?

See also: Windfall for Chancellor Philip Hammond ahead of Budget

See also: Budget 'a key test' of promises made by PM to working people, TUC says


Ladbrokes is indeed running a book on the colour of Hammonds tie. Blue is the runaway favourite at 1/2, followed by red at 3/1, yellow at 6/1, and pink at 8/1. If you really fancy a punt, it also has leopard print at 200/1. William Hill also has blue as the favourite at 1/4. followed by red at 3/1, yellow at 8/1 and grey at 12/1.

Paddy Power has taken a more unusual approach - offering Hammond to wear a tartan suit at 25/1.

One interesting variation from William Hill is that you can bet on the top rate of tax (45%). You can get odds of 1/10 on it being raised or unchanged and 11/12 on it being cut.

Budget Buzzwords are a popular favourite. Ladbrokes is expecting some old chestnuts to surface, and has the NHS at 1/10, Brexit at 1/3, 'Works for Everyone' at 1/3, China at 1/2 and Northern Powerhouse at 1/2. Hard Working Families is offered at 3/1 and La La Land at 8/1.

William Hill also has deficit at 1/33, along with NHS at 1/12, social care at 1/5, misleading small print at 2/9 and Brexit at 1/4. Just-about-managing has fallen out of favour with the party, and so William Hill has it at just 8/1.

Paddy Power has Brexit as the runaway favourite at 1/100.

If you're after longer odds, further down the list you can get 'Make Britain Great Again' from Ladbrokes at 33/1, 'Back of the Sofa' at 66/1 and 'Lazy Single People' at 100/1.

Paddy Power has quite an array of left-field options, including fake news at 12/1, 'Donald Trump would be impressed' at 33/1, 'UKIP are imploding faster than Arsenal' at 33/1, 'better than Osborne' at 66/1, 'Nigel Farage is a faker' at 66/1 and 'Theresa May holds my hand too' at 500/1.

As usual, you can bet on the length of the speech. Ladbrokes has an hour or more at evens, and under 60 minutes at 8/11. William Hill, meanwhile has 50 minutes and over at 4/6 and under 50 minutes at 11/10.

You can also bet on the number of sips of water he takes, through Paddy Power, with three or more at 6/5, two at 5/2, one at 3/1 and none at 4/1.

And if you fancy a wild stab in the dark, Paddy Power offers some interesting options - with Hammond losing the Budget box at 80/1, appearing holding a Byron burger takeaway bag (which Osborne was photographed eating on the eve of one Budget) at 125/1, Hammond to wear a George Osborne pin badge at 125/1 and the Budget box being blue at 500/1.

As with all gambling, of course, the most likely scenario is that you get things wrong, and lose your money. So it's only ever worth a flutter with money you can comfortably afford to lose.

Sadly, there's no book available on whether Hammond makes an excruciating attempt at a joke, whether the front bench will spend the entire speech trying to look 'energised' rather than 'bored silly' - or whether the House of Commons will be awash with jeering and the usual playground behaviour. Sadly, as ever, those things are dead certs.


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