New York, Nov 3 : A 100 dollar wager placed on Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama on October 30, 2007 when he was just another Democratic hopeful traversing Iowa - was worth 1,278 dollar on Sunday at Intrade.com, one of the most popular online bookies.
That same 100 dollar on Wall Street has plummeted some 35 percent over the same period, not to mention fall at the Dow Jones.
"You could probably have made more money buying Obama in the last year than if you bought most anything on the New York Stock Exchange," said Tom Snee, spokesmen for the Iowa Electronics Market, another online predictions market.
While New York's polls don't open until tomorrow, online bookies have whispered for months that the smart money is on Obama, the Daily News reported.
These days, you don't even have to wait for the election - you can buy shares of Obama at places like Intrade and sell them at any time, just like, say, Microsoft stock.
Yesterday, Intrade was selling Obama shares at 88.8 cents apiece, meaning bettors were giving him an 88.8 percent chance of winning, compared to around 12 percent for Republican John McCain.
A year ago, a share of Obama costs less than eight cents.
The so-called predictive markets are historically a lot better at picking winners than polls, which tend to ask people who they want to win - not who they think will win.
In 2004, Intrade offered bettors a chance to guess the outcome in 50 different states - and in 50 different states, including cliffhangers like Ohio, they guessed right.
The secret, says Intrade CEO John Delaney, is the injection of cold, hard cash into the usually emotional decision of picking a winner.
"Passion is put aside, and the question becomes who do you think will win, and who will give you a profit," said Delaney. "You are incentivized to be careful and methodical."