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Time Person of the Year 2018: Opportunities for bettors

Time Person of the Year 2018: Opportunities for bettors

An annual tradition since 1927, the world famous Time magazine is again set to name its Person of the Year who will feature on its cover. Can bettors find value in the Time Person of the Year odds? Read on to find out.

Announced in early December, with the selection process having begun in September, the Time Person of the Year can be a person, group, idea or an object that has done the most to influence the events of a particular year.

The Silence Breakers, a collective term used to represent people, such as the Me Too movement, who spoke out about sexual abuse in Hollywood and elsewhere, featured on the 2017 cover – while Donald Trump appeared on 2016’s issue.

Winners, regardless of whether they are human or not, can also be named multiple times – Franklin. D Roosevelt was named Person of the Year three times (1932, 1934 and 1941), while the American Solider was named twice. The first in 1950 as “The American fighting-man” representing US troops involved in the Korean War, and the second in 2003, representing US troops involved in the Iraq War.

The only two inanimate objects to feature are The Endangered Earth (Planet of the Year 1988) and The Computer (Machine of the Year in 1982).

Originally called Man of the Year, until a name change in 1999 to Person of the Year, Charles Lindbergh became the first Time Man of the Year in 1927 after he completed a solo crossing of the Atlantic earlier that year.

Serving multiple purposes, Time sought to make amends for not featuring Lindberg on its cover immediately after his historic trip – which was considered to be a massive editorial blunder at the time.

Despite the feature’s original name implying gender exclusion, women have always been considered for the Person of the Year – with Wallis Simpson being made Women of the Year way back in 1936.

Given its high-profile nature, the judging process for Person of the Year is a closely guarded secret – decided by only a handful of Time editors. Naturally, as some people have prior knowledge of who the winner is, this makes it a unique betting market.

Common misconceptions about Time Person of the Year

Despite its popularity, a number of misconceptions exist surrounding the Time Person of the Year such as who can actually be an eligible candidate, or how the Time Person of the Year is actually decided.

Often regarded by some as being an honour bestowed upon that year’s particular recipient or recipients for a positive impact they made, the Time Person of the Year award is actually all about influence – and how someone or something’s actions dominated the cultural and political landscape.

In fact, according to Time’s former Managing Editor Walter Isaacson, the title is given to “the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year, for better or for worse.”

It’s a regularly stated fact that Adolf Hitler was voted Time Man of the Year in 1938. While this is often used to suggest cruel irony in Time’s apparent optimistic view of someone who would later become one of history’s most disgusting despots, the award was less a reflection on him as a human being, and more on reflection on his involvement in the unification of Germany with Austria and the Sudetenland.

Similarly influential figures, of a dubious moral disposition to have received the award, include Joseph Stalin (1939 and 1942), Nikita Khrushchev (1957) and Ayatollah Khomeini (1979).

However, in more recent years the magazine has tended to avoid picking choices that could provoke an overwhelming negative reaction within the American population, which in turn could led to low sales or a drop in advertising revenue.

An example of this was when in 2001, immediately following 9/11, Time opted to pick New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani as its Person of the Year, when Osama Bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda and the man behind the attacks, seemed a much more influential figure and likely winner.

While an article in the same edition suggested that Hitler was actually the strongest candidate for Person of the Century in 1999 – when it had actually been given to Albert Einstein.

In 2006, Time magazine’s selection courted mild controversy again as it announced You as its Person of the Year.

While it’s sometimes assumed this referred to every person in the world alive at the time, or that it was some form of joke, the ‘You’ in question actually referred to people advancing the information age by using the internet and social media sites such as MySpace, Facebook and YouTube. So naturally, didn’t apply to absolutely everyone.

Similarly, Time may withdraw or alter selections based on sudden events which are deemed more influential than the original choice.

In 1941, Disney’s Dumbo was selected to be Time’s “Mammal of the Year”, though was replaced by then US president Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7 of that year pre-empted the cover (Dumbo’s Mammal of the Year profile still appeared on the inside pages of the magazine).

Nowadays, Time release the cover before the whole magazine goes to print – to avoid people leaking the winner on social media.

Since 1998, Time has also held an online poll on its website for readers to vote for who they believe to the Person of the Year. Throughout the years, this has caused much confusion as many fans mistakenly believe that either the winner of the poll is the Person of the Year, or that the online voting is taken into consideration by the judges.

However, the truth is, while Time will often announce the winner of the online poll as the “People’s Choice”, the decision on who is the magazine’s cover star and Time Person of the Year is solely made by the select group of editors.

This misinterpretation most notably came to a head in the online poll’s inaugural year, in which a campaign by fans saw professional wrestler Mick Foley win with over 50% of the votes, before later being removed from the poll by Time.

This led to some mild outrage from supporters of Foley, as many mistakenly believed the winner of the poll was the winner of the Person of the Year title itself.

Recent winners of Time Person of the Year


Barack Obama

Elected President of the United States


Ben Bernanke

Chairman of the Federal Reserve during the Financial Crisis


Mark Zuckerberg

Founder of Facebook


The Protester

Representing the global protest movements of 2011


Barack Obama

Re-elected President of the United States


Pope Francis

Elected head of the Roman Catholic Church


Ebola fighters

Representing health care workers who stopped the spread of Ebola


Angela Merkel

Recognised for leadership in the Europe migrant and Greek debt crises


Donald Trump

Elected President of the United States


The Silence Breakers

Representing various people who spoke out about sexual abuse

Time Person of the Year 2018 odds: Who could win?

Given the secrecy of the judging process, the large amount of eligible candidates, and the numerous surprise and repeat winners over the past 91 years – bettors may find genuine value in Time Person of the Year 2018 odds.

Numerous US presidents have appeared on the cover multiple times, including Roosevelt (3), Harry Truman (2), Dwight Eisenhower (2), Bill Clinton (2), George W. Bush (2) and Barack Obama (2). So it’s no surprise to see Donald Trump the favourite to be awarded Time’s Person of the Year for a second time in three years at 5.690*.

As political figures have naturally dominated the cover over the years, Xi Jinping (11.080*), Mohammed bin Salman (13.600*), Kim Jong-Un (13.600*) and Angela Merkel (26.190*) are all also in contention to varying degrees.

Christine Blasey Ford, the American professor who alleged then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982, is priced at 6.040*. If Ford is selected, the decision would hold a similar theme as 2017’s cover of The Silence Breakers – which also concerned allegations of sexual abuse from people in power.

In terms of outright entertainment, South Korean boy band BTS, who were featured on the cover of Time in October 2018 while being named “Next Generation Leaders” are priced at 13.600*.

While the Thai Cave Divers, who famously recused a junior football team and their coach trapped in a cave in Thailand, are third favourite at 9.060*.

LeBron James and Colin Kapernick, who previously would have been thought of in terms of NBA and NFL betting respectively, are priced at 11.080* and 61.430*.

Now that you know what the Time Person of the Year is, its history and how the decision is made, you can analyse the list of potential candidates in Pinnacle’s Time Person of The Year betting market and take advantage of the best odds online.

*Odds subject to change



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Shane Donnelly
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