Betting on the Baby

It’s a truth nearly as certain as death or taxes: people will bet on anything. Foremost in most individuals’ minds when thinking of betting is sports, but there exist a bevy of other things that people bet on every single day. According to one gambling website, some non-sports betting options include the television show Big Brother, the timeline for alien discovery, and even whether or not there will be a ‘White Christmas’ in any given locale.

When considered in this light, one new betting phenomenon seems a little less strange. Ever since the announcement that Her Royal Highness Meghan of Sussex—better known by her maiden name, Meghan Markle—was pregnant with her and Prince Harry’s first child, the betting markets have opened up with speculation about what the baby’s name will be.

Betting site Ladbrokes currently displays Victoria and Albert, names for a girl and boy respectively, as the most likely names for ‘Baby Sussex.’ Other likely guesses include Diana and Alice for girls, and Philip and Arthur for boys. Going down the list to the less likely candidates reveals name choices like ‘Donald’ (odds 250/1), ‘Beto’ (200/1), ‘Barack’ (100/1), and the least likely candidate, ‘Brexit’, at 500/1 odds. The website displays other odds too, including the baby’s gender, weekday of birth, time of birth, and even whether the royal baby will in fact be babies—odds for twins are currently set at 10 to 1. Betting site Betfair arranges the odds slightly differently, putting Diana out front for girls, but the top three name contenders are the same.

Perhaps to the surprise of many Americans, betting on the particulars of a British royal baby’s birth isn’t unprecedented, in the UK or at home. Over $1.8 million in bets were placed on the baby’s name when Prince George was born—and, as George was the leading name contender, at 8/1 odds, the bookies didn’t do a bad job.  

No official figures about the amount of money that’s been placed on the name of Harry and Meghan’s first child have yet been released. However, the ascension of Markle—a biracial American divorcee—to the British Royal Family has made royal affairs across the pond a point of interest for millions in the United States. Accordingly, maybe it’s safe to say this royal baby could be a record-breaker.