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Best Bets of 2016

If you’ve been paying attention at all in 2016, you know this hasn’t been a good year for a lot of people. From a string of high-profile and iconic celebrity deaths to political unrest and natural disasters including wildfires and earthquakes around the world, this past year has been one for the record books.

It’s also been a big year for bettors as some major long shots have come out on top since the start of the year, meaning their backers were smiling all the way to the bank.

Taking a quick look back, here’s the top three bets from 2016:

#3 - Danny WilletT to win the masters (70/1)

All eyes were on Jordan Spieth to repeat his 2015 Masters win in 2016 but further down the oddsboard the savvy bettor could find this year’s eventual winner, Danny Willett. Ahead of the tournament, with Willett listed at +7000, OddsShark’s Stephen Campbell wrote this about the 28-year-old.

“The Brit has been a monster in his home continent, highlighted by a sixth place showing at the Open Championship last year. Willett has kept that momentum rolling this season, establishing himself as one of the game’s most exciting young players in the process.”

Willett moved up the oddsboard over the course of the Masters but you still could have gotten him at 20/1 odds on the final day of the tournament.

#2 - Donald Trump for PresIdent (150/1)

Very early in the campaign cycle, Donald Trump was listed at 150/1 odds. When OddsShark started tracking election odds, he was still listed at +2500 (or 25/1) to become the president.

Because the campaign season was so long and Trump remained an underdog to become the Republican candidate and ultimately the president until very late, bettors who put their faith in “The Donald’s” ability to win were pretty happy with their choice on November 9th.

To look back at the odds and how they changed over the campaign period, check out OddsShark’s presidential futures archives here.

#1 - Leicester City to win the Premier League (5000/1)

In the biggest upset of the year, soccer fans came out on top when Leicester City, who had opened at 5000/1 odds, clinched the top of the Premier League table.

Sportsbooks took a huge hit on this one, especially in the U.K. It was reported that bookmakers in that country had to pay out over £25 million ($37 million US) on the Leicester EPL title victory.

To compare those 5000/1 odds with another famous British long shot, Olympic ski jumper Eddie the Eagle was a 2500/1 underdog to win gold at the 1988 Olympics.

 And while these types of upsets are certainly not the norm, when they do happen it’s an exciting payday for those who had faith in the underdog. Happy New Year and good luck in 2017.