2017 Time Magazine ‘Person of the Year’ Early Betting Odds

–TIME Magazine started selecting a ‘Man of the Year’ in 1927.

– In 1999, it became the ‘Person of the Year’.

– The designation is given to the person “for better or for worse…has done the most to influence the events of the year”.

SPORTS BETTING EXPERTS posted betting odds on the Time Magazine ‘Person of the Year’ for 2016 last December. My thinking was that unless TIME Magazine wanted to make some sort of ideological or political statement the winner had to be then President-Elect Donald Trump. That’s why I installed him as a -500 favorite. Like him or not, if you’re intellectually honest you have to admit that he sure fit the criteria as a person who “for better or for worse…has done the most to influence the events of the year”.

My concern was that TIME would try to make a statement by not validating Trump as ‘POTY’. I figured that they had two ways they could give it to someone other than Trump and not look like partisan shills. One was to go completely apolitical and award the ‘POTY’ to the ‘Flint Whistleblowers”“. They became my second choice at +450. The other way that TIME could have denied ‘The Donald’ would be to give the ‘POTY’ to Russian President Vladimir Putin. They could very subtly carry water for the kooky ‘the Russians hacked the election’ narrative and it’s not like Putin wasn’t heavily involved in ‘influencing events’ all around the world in 2016. Vladimir Putin became my third choice at +800. I had Hillary Clinton at +2500 thinking that there was no way they’d make such a partisan move. I also had Nigel Farage at +2500–he was the primary driving force behind the BREXIT initiative. If you completely forgot that the United States existed you could make a case that he was the most influential person of the year.

Trump won the ‘POTY’ award and there were plenty of hysterics from the perpetually offended who didn’t get the memo that ‘Person of the Year’ isn’t necessarily an honorific. As we recounted at the time “TIME makes that clear in their one sentence criteria for ‘Person of the Year’. While we’re talking criteria it doesn’t need to be a person–it can be a person, a group, an idea, or an object that “for better or for worse…has done the most to influence the events of the year”.

Charles Lindbergh won the inagural ‘Person of the Year’ award in 1927. Adolph Hitler won in 1938 (which has been misinterpreted by hysterical revisionist historians as an ‘endorsement’ of Hitler when it was nothing of the sort). Harry Truman, George Marshall and Winston Churchill each won twice during the years before, during and after World War II. ‘The American Fighting Man’ won the award in 1950 as the United States continued their march toward a perpetual state of war, this time in Korea.

‘The Computer’ won the award in 1982. Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev–the geopolitical Borg and McEnroe–each won a pair of awards during the 1980’s. In 2006, ‘You’ won the ‘Person of the Year’ award. No, not ‘you’ personally but ‘You’ collectively as user created and content took over the Internet. German Chancellor Angela Merkel won in 2015. Ebola Fighters won in 2014, Pope Francis in 2013, former President Obama in 2012, so on and so forth. TIME has been fairly consistent about calling it right down the middle with their ‘POTY’ Award spreading it all over the ideological spectrum, from individuals to groups to concepts and to representatives of good, evil and in some cases a little bit of both.


SPORTS BETTING EXPERTS wants to get a jump on the TIME ‘Person of the Year’ betting this year and for that reason we’re opening our betting market for the 2017 award approximately 8.5 months before it’ll be announced. Once again, Trump is the favorite but at a higher price this time. There’s a couple of reasons for this–TIME has only gone ‘back to back’ with the ‘POTY’ Award only once in history. Oddly enough, that was Richard Nixon in 1971 and 1972. A more practical reason is that there’s still plenty of time for all kinds of bizarre things to happen.

I’ve installed ‘Trump Protesters’ as the second choice at +1250. This would be a nice way for TIME to get their street cred back among the American Left and there’s a precedent for it. A number of different protest movements won collectively as ‘The Protester’ in 2011. Putin is near the top of the charts once again and I’ve got Edward Snowden as my fourth choice. My rationale with putting him here is similar to what I did in the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize betting odds–TIME can give him the award he richly deserves and now that it won’t ’embarrass Obama’ they can dump Snowden on Trump’s front yard.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of political types on the list but if nothing else TIME is a house organ of the 20th Century analog era status quo. There’s countless people, things and concepts actually changing the world–like Bitcoin which is freeing money from political control and is #5 on my odds rundown–but TIME and so many other relics of the analog era media still try to act like the politicians are doing ‘important things’. They’re basically curtailing freedoms and perpetuating wars while the private sector is busy inventing the future. It would be great to see TIME move away from validating statism and its overlords but I’m not holding my breath.

The rest of the list is a mish mash of people who have done something significant already this year or have the potential to do something significant before the end of 2017. That’s a tough thing to assess and an equally tough thing to handicap. There’s not a ‘field’ choice since TIME will release a ‘short list’ of candidates around the first of December at which time I’ll re-price the market. In other words, all bets are ‘action’ regardless of whatever happens between now and December. TIME announced the winner on December 7, 2016 so you can expect this year’s announcement in the first week of the month. If they want to do the first Wednesday of December that will make it 12/6/17. We’ll update this market in a few months and I’m thinking it will have changed dramatically in the interim.


Donald Trump: +550
Trump Protesters: +750
Vladimir Putin: +1250
Edward Snowden: +1500
Bitcoin: +1750
Guy Verhofstadt: +2500
Pope Francis: +2500
Julian Assange: +2500
Elon Musk: +2500
Chelsea Manning: +2500
Jeff Bezos: +2750
Kim Jong-un: +2750
Ban Ki-Moon: +2750
Xi Jinping: +2750
Hwang Kyo-ahn: +2750
Marine le Pen: +2750
Robin Li: +2750
Mark Zuckerberg: +3250
Mark Cuban: +3250
Neil Gorsuch: +3250
Barack Obama: +3500
Angela Merkel: +3500
Emmanuel Macron: +3500
Daniella Vargas: +3500
Francois Fillon: +3500
Sergey Brin: +3500
Larry Page: +3500
Steve Bannon: +3500
Peter Thiel: +3500
Nigel Farage: +3750
Lady Gaga: +3750
Raif Badawi: +4500
Michelle Obama: +4500
Tim Farron: +4500
Tom Brady: +4500
Serena Williams: +4500
Marc Andreessen: +4500
Tiger Woods: +4500
Jeremy Corbyn: +6000
Bernie Sanders: +6000
Hillary Clinton: +6000
Elizabeth Warren: +6000
Jeff Sessions: +6000
Justin Trudeau: +6000
Theresa May: +6000
Jack Ma: +6500
Tim Cook: +6500
Connor McDavid: +6500
Rick Sanchez: +6500
Cory Booker: +7000
Tim Farron: +7500
Kim Kardashian: +15000
O.J. Simpson: +25000

About the Author: Jim Murphy

For more than 25 years, Jim Murphy has written extensively on sports betting as well as handicapping theory and practice. Jim Murphy has been quoted in media from the Wall Street Journal to REASON Magazine. Murphy worked as a radio and podcasting host broadcasting to an international audience that depended on his expertise and advice. Murphy is an odds making consultant for sports and 'non-sport novelty bets' focused on the entertainment business, politics, technology, financial markets and more.