Punters dreaming of a white Christmas

One of Ireland’s leading bookies is tempting Derry punters with odds of 4/1 for a white Christmas in the city.

Bookie Paddy Power was yesterday offering odds for a white Christmas for many cities across Ireland, the US and Europe.

In Derry, the bookies say they will pay out if snow falls at City of Derry airport at any time on Christmas Day.

At 4/1, the bookmakers think it’s more likely to snow in Derry than it is in Cork, Manchester, Paris or Madrid.

With only weeks to go until the big day, seasonal punters - and more than one million white Christmas bets are placed in Ireland and the UK - will be looking for the best odds for snowfall on December 25.

Sharon McHugh of Paddy Power says White Christmas betting has grown in popularity over recent years.

“And the last few years have proved very profitable for those who got on it being a white one,” she says.

“This year however has been a little more quiet, essentially because it’s been a very mild year so far. They are saying December will be a lot milder than usual.”

She says betting has started to increase over recent days and could increase further if the weather turns colder.

“Compared to previous years punters are taking a cautious view to gambling on this year’s festive weather and it’s likely we’ll see a surge in bets nearer the 25th if we witness another cold snap and frost.”

Meanwhile Ladbrokes are being a little more cautious - offering odds of 3/1 for snow in Derry on Christmas Day.

Spokeswoman Hayley O’Connor says betting on a white Christmas is “a popular, fun bet that punters like to have where stakes are quite low.”

But she says the mild weather has also seen punters opting for a snow no show Christmas day bet.

Forecasters at online weather service netweather yesterday said there was a 35% chance of snow on Christmas day in the north.