Last week, the world watched closely as the Scottish referendum took place, securing an affiliated future for England and Scotland but one British financier was watching closer than most after betting £900,000 on the outcome.
The unidentified London businessman revealed his career in finance impelled him to make the bet as he was well practiced in making projections and limiting risk. Thankfully, the mystery man was certain Scotland would decline independence and won £1,093,333 ($1,967,769) following the No vote.
The savvy gambler earned a profit of £193,333 ($347,855) and received an impressive return on investment of just over 21%. He vehemently denies his bet was reckless and says he conducted extensive research and analysis in order to minimize risk.
“[There was] poll after poll after poll asking every possible question across generations,” he said, in an anonymous BBC Radio 2 interview, “you have an exact insight into what is important to local Scots. You can look at this data and make some interesting predictions, which is what I did.”
“Analysts may have considered it too close to call at times,” continued the furtive financier, “but I guess I'm a bit more of a risk-taker. Nevertheless, by June there had been something like 85 individual polls and not a single poll had actually had a Yes outcome.”
Even when the polls did eventually show a lead for the Yes campaign, he’d already predicted it would happen after turning to Canada for help. “I looked at historical precedents,” disclosed the businessman, “the 1995 Quebec referendum followed a very similar pattern. The separatists were behind in the polls. Then on a popular upswing of self-determination they took the lead going into the actual vote. But then on the day there was a seven percent reverse and the separatists lost.”
It’s no secret that many Quebec nationalists were on tenterhooks waiting for the Scottish referendum results, all hoping a Yes vote would lead the way for an independent Quebec. However, with such a small margin, it’s still possible that Canada’s French cousin will make a similar push sometime soon – would you follow in the footsteps of this financier and bet $1.6 million on a No vote?