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Indy Lifestyle Online
Temperatures are expected to drop below freezing this week, bringing the first snows of the winter to all parts of Britain.

On Friday, a man went into a Ladbroke's betting shop in north London, took pounds 6,000 out of his pocket and bet it all on a white Christmas at odds of 7-1. It was the biggest bet they have ever taken on a white Christmas. Later the same day they dropped their odds against a snowflake falling on the roof of the London Weather Centre on Christmas Day to 6-1.

The bet was placed shortly after the Meteorological Office predicted a sudden change in the weather, with freezing December temperatures replacing that nice, warm, wet November we have just had. Thanks to cold air coming in from Scandinavia, it's frost now and snow by mid-week for most of the country.

So is our punter on to a good thing? I doubt it. Christmas is still several weeks away. It snows on Christmas Day only about one in 16 times, and last year was the first white Christmas for 20 years. It cost the bookies pounds 100,000 and they are anxious not to repeat the loss. Snow at the beginning of December has little or no correlation with snow on Christmas Day, but that will not deter punters who have been thinking about a little wager rushing into their local bookies at the first sign of snow this week.

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