Sarah Palin may be as significant to internet political wagering as anyone since Konrad Zuse, inventor of the modern computer.
"We have never had as many market requests relating to a single politician as we have had related to Sarah Palin," says John Delaney, CEO of Intrade.
Intrade's 50,000 users wager hundreds of millions of dollars per year in "markets" ranging from election outcomes to box office returns. One of the most popular has been whether Palin will be the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.
Late today, Delaney announced three new Palin markets. They are listed below along with charts that will enable you to follow trading in real-time.
So how should you bet?
If you are Sarah Palin, presumably you have the capability to manipulate these markets. Thus you are barred from trading. If you are a member of Palin's family or inner circle, however, you may play, according to Delaney.
For those of you without the benefit of being Palin intimates, here's advice from renowned horseracing handicapper Ray Paulick, who demonstrated extraordinary aptitude for political wagering in a recent experiment conducted by the Huffington Post:
1. Will Sarah Palin host her own TV show? "Yes," says Paulick. "I'd lay odds of ten cents on the dollar."
2. Will Sarah Palin announce a run for President? "I don't think she will, but I think the odds would favor a run," Paulick says. "Forty cents on the dollar yes, but I'd bet against."
3. Will Sarah Palin be indicted by state or federal authorities for any offence(s)? Paulick: "I'm ambivalent on this one, not really knowing enough about it--although the FBI did say there is no current investigation--but I would think given the depth of the ethics investigations, there is a possibility. I'd make the chances of an indictment 1.80 on the dollar."
Now, no matter what the future holds, Americans can profit from Sarah Palin.
*What the numbers mean: Since "contracts" trade at between 0 and 100, you can think of the price at any time as the percentage probability of that event occurring. If you believe Gov. Palin will get her own TV show, you would expect that price to go up, towards 100. If you were to buy a contract at $13 and Palin gets a deal with FOX, you would win the difference between your purchase price of $13 and the closing price of $100: $87. More information.