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By Brad Tuttle
November 9, 2016
Photo illustration by Sarina Finkelstein for Money; Getty Images (2); AP (1); Reuters (1)

Carlos Slim, Mexico’s richest man and the fifth wealthiest billionaire in the world, lost roughly $5 billion after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. Slim didn’t bet against Trump—not officially anyway—but was affected because the value of the Mexican peso cratered after the election, resulting in the evaporation of roughly 9% of Slim’s fortune.

Many other people won or lost money on the election in an instant the more traditional way: gambling. It’s illegal to bet on U.S. elections on American turf, but gambling on election outcomes is totally fair game in the U.K.

Leading up to November 8, with virtually all polls predicting a Hillary Clinton victory, U.K. bookies were swamped with bets. “The U.S. election attracted more bets than any other political gamble ever in the U.K., with what bookies estimate at around £200 million ($247.6 million) worth of wagers,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

While 69% of individual election bets placed with the bookmaker William Hill picked Trump as the winner, most appear to have been relatively small wagers. Roughly three-quarters of the stake money bet with William Hill was on a Clinton victory. That appeared to be the safe bet, after all: Bookmakers were giving Trump only a 20% chance of winning on Tuesday.

But wagers on Trump obviously paid off, and a few very large bets on Trump’s election victory paid off handsomely. Perhaps the biggest payout of all came from the bet placed by one real estate magnate on another. The (UK) Metro reported that the Iranian-British real estate tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz won £1.2 million ($1.5 million) thanks to bets worth £350,000 ($435,000) on Trump.

According to the (UK) Independent, one unknown gambler won £500,000 ($622,000) on a £200,000 ($249,000) bet on Trump, and several six-figure wagers were placed on one or the other American candidates. Meanwhile, Trump paid off over and over for a British hotel owner named John Mappin, who won a total of £103,000 ($128,000) thanks to a string of 33 bets on Trump’s political run.

Read Next: What Trump’s Win Means for Your Wallet

Perhaps most interesting of all is the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power’s decision to pay off around $1 million worth of bets before the election even took place. Convinced that Clinton would win, the bookmaker preemptively paid off wagers on the Democratic candidate with the hopes of avoiding bigger losses later. Obviously, the move didn’t pay off for Paddy Power.

“We’re in the business of making predictions and decided to put our neck on the line by paying out early on Hillary Clinton, but boy did we get it wrong,” said Paddy Power spokesman Feilim Mac An Iomaire, according to Bloomberg News. “We’ve been well and truly thumped by Trump.”

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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