Aliens, King Harry and Jeremy Cor-bond: nine things officially more likely than Leicester City's pre-season chances
Imagine a world where aliens are a proven fact, Jeremy Corbyn is James Bond, and King Harry sits on the throne of England, alongside his wife Cheryl Cole.
Not very likely, is it? And yet, according to bookmakers across the land, still closer to reality than a world where Leicester City are Premier League champions. At the start the football season, the Foxes were 5,000-1 outsiders for the title. There was, bookies agreed, virtually no chance that come May, Vardy, Mahrez and co would be holding the famous trophy aloft.
According to odds aggregate site Oddschecker.com, this made a Leicester triumph less likely than:
- Prince Harry to be the next monarch: 33-1
With both Charles and William ahead of him in line, chances look fairly slim that Harry will be wearing the crown any time soon. Even tiny Prince George has a stronger case, at 25-1. Still, nearly 200 times more likely than Leicester winning the title, according to the bookies last year.
- Prince Harry to marry Cheryl Cole: 175-1
Stranger things have happened than the former Girls Aloud singer marrying a Royal. Not many, but some. And one of those would – by some distance – have been the Foxes taking the title.
- Alien life to be proven by the end of 2016: 25-1
Some might argue that Jamie Vardy’s right foot is itself an alien artefact, so evolved it appears to be. But at 25-1, the conclusive discovery of life beyond Earth by the end of the year seems almost likely in comparison to 2015’s distant fantasy of a Leicester win.
- Jeremy Corbyn to be the next James Bond: 1,007-1
This is a real bet which can really be placed, for real. And why not? The only argument against the Labour leader stepping into Daniel Craig’s shoes is every single thing that has ever happened, anywhere.
- The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to have triplets: 150-1
Some reports suggest that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant again. These are, however, rumours, completely unfounded. Nevertheless, the intel seems solid enough for a bet on the couple having triplets to be considered far more likely than one of the 20 real, existing football teams playing in the Premier League winning that league.
- David Cameron to be Time’s Person of the Year 2016: 66-1
Compared with Leicester formerly hopeless chances of top-flight glory, the Prime Minister being picked as the single most important and influential figure of the year is very nearly a dead cert.
- Jenson Button to win Sports Personality of the Year 2016: 200-1
Two races into the 2016 season and things are already looking bleak for the 2009 world champion. But, like Leicester City in 2015, his team are hardly considered contenders. In fact most people would actually laugh at the idea that a McLaren driver could win the trophy. And yet his second title is now considered 25 times more likely than Leicester’s first Premier League title was at the start of the season.
- Elton John to win this year’s Mercury Music Prize: 100-1
Elton’s latest album is called Wonderful Crazy Night and has an aggregate score of 70 out 100 on Metacritic, indicating ‘generally favourable reviews’. Will a ‘generally favourable’ album win the Mercury Prize? The answer – with 50 times more certainty than anyone in their right mind ever really felt for a Leicester win - is ‘possibly’.
- Daniel O’Donnell to win Strictly Come Dancing (despite no contestants being announced yet): 66-1
Now this is just ludicrous. But still far less ludicrous than the laughable idea of Leicester taking the title seemed, back in August.
What a difference a few dozen football games make. Now, with only a handful of games left to play, Leicester are actually 1-3 on favourites to win it, shorter odds even than next month being May.
Perhaps Jeremy Corbyn should order that tux now…