Sportsbet had taken money on what colour tie Laurie Oakes was going to wear for the TV coverage, so he wore all of them
While no clear victor emerged in the Australian general election, at least one real loser has been decided, thanks in no small part to the sartorial sneakiness of a seasoned political commentator.
Laurie Oakes, a veteran political editor has offered his take on Australian politics for decades, and had been scheduled to appear on Channel 9 on Saturday night as the election results came in. Known as much for his vast experience as a pundit in the Canberra Press Gallery as for his personal style, online bookmakers Sportsbet started offering odds on what colour necktie Oakes would be wearing on TV.
Sportsbet had set out six different options, inviting punters to place their hard-earned dollars on one of them. When the cameras first panned to Oakes, those who’d backed blue would have been happy to know that while they might not have a prime minister, at least they could take home some winnings on a novelty bet.
But as the night’s news show rolled on, eagle-eyed viewers would have spotted Oakes tie change throughout the night, from blue to black, yellow to red, stripes and monochrome. In total, he swapped his necktie six times throughout the broadcast, with Sportsbet’s official Twitter account catching on that they would soon be paying out on every bet placed on his colour choice.
According to 9News, Oakes' wardrobe change allowed the 57 punters who'd gambled on the novelty bet to take home $3,010 (€2,700) paid out by the bookies.
"Sportsbet ran a bet on what colour tie I would wear in the election telecast - there were six choices: yellow, blue, gold or any other colour," Oakes said in a Channel 9 news interview during the broadcast.
"So, I thought, 'Why should anyone miss out?' and wore all six colours. I like to think of myself as the Punters' Protector," Oakes said.