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The Person of the Year award has been handed out by Time magazine on an annual basis since 1927. With the 2023 winner to be announced soon, you may be wondering if you can bet on it, and the answer is of course you can. After all, this is 2023 and sportsbooks have entertainment markets too.
The award, which was known as the Man of the Year or Woman of the Year until 1999, is usually given out late in the year (December) in what is usually one of the most popular issues of the magazine.
Winning Person of the Year is mostly considered an honor, though that has not always been the case. Adolf Hitler won it in 1938 and Joseph Stalin won it for the first of 2 times in 1939.
That is why it is important to define that the award is given to, for better or worse, the person or entity that has done the most to influence the events of the year.
We look at the top betting candidates, all with better than +1000 odds, to win the Person of the Year award for 2023 from Time magazine with the odds courtesy of BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review to learn more)
- Current Odds: (+900)
Merrick Garland is the 86th United States Attorney General, a job he was nominated for by President Joe Biden and voted into by the Senate in 2021. More recently, Garland appointed Jack Smith to serve as special counsel in the investigations into Donald Trump, which led to unprecedented indictments of the former president.
But Garland is still best known as the man that former president Barack Obama wanted to nominate for the Supreme Court in 2016 to fill the seat of the deceased Antonin Scalia. But the Republican Senate majority, led by Mitch McConnell, blocked Garland from a hearing or any vote for his nomination.
With the Trump cases not likely to be settled any time soon, it is hard to see Garland getting any real push for this award in 2023.
- Current Odds: (+800)
Janet Yellen has served as the 78th United States Secretary of the Treasury since 2021. A respected economist, she has an unenviable task of dealing with many economic issues in 2023, including inflation in the United States, the Russia-Ukraine war, pressure from China, and now the Israel-Palestine conflict is growing too.
There was also a banking crisis in March 2023 when Silicon Valley Bank collapsed, which put even more on her plate. She has the best odds of any one woman on the list of candidates this year.
King Charles III
- Current Odds: (+800)
The world’s oldest boy finally got a real job this year. After the passing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth, Charles III assumed the duties of King in a memorable coronation earlier in 2023, the likes of which few have ever witnessed before.
At 73, Charles is the oldest person to ascend to the British throne. His mother did win Person of the Year in 1952, the year she became queen, so there is precedent here.
However, the world has changed so much since 1952, and by 2023, many do not have the same respect for the royal family. Charles in particular has not been a well-liked figure based on the messy fallout from his marriage to Princess Diana, a beloved figure who tragically died in 1997.
Maybe if the king had any real power these days this would be the choice, but frankly, there are far more important things in the world than this family.
- Current Odds: (+750)
Protests broke out in Iran in July 2021 over water shortages and continued well into 2022 despite violent backlash from the government, which has allegedly killed hundreds of protestors and used the death penalty to punish others.
While the award is called Person of the Year, it has been given to groups made up of many different individuals before. For example, 2017’s winner was The Silence Breakers, a collective term for anyone who contributed to the MeToo movement in speaking up about sexual misconduct.
Other past winners include “You” in 2006, a way of saying internet content creators for the breakout video platform YouTube, and “The Computer” won as an inanimate object in 1982.
The brave Iran protestors would be in line with some past winners, but there are 3 candidates with higher odds.
- Current Odds: (+350)
President of the United States, the most difficult job in the world, has been the Person of the Year a whopping 23 times by 14 different presidents. It is by far the easiest way to win this distinction, and Joe Biden already won it in 2020, shared with Vice President Kamala Harris, after he became the 46th POTUS.
Do presidents win it twice? They absolutely do, but it usually happens in election years, and we are not there yet for Biden in 2024. We don’t even know with 100% certainty if he will be on the ballot come November 2024.
But to win this honor in a non-election year would be very difficult. Bill Clinton did it in 1998, 2 years after his re-election, but that was shared with Ken Starr for the impeachment trial related to Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Biden does not have such a scandal, and while he has had a difficult year on the job, it is hard to say he has been a driving force behind where the world is in 2023. He is trying his best to help with the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, and Congress just went through an embarrassing search for a new Speaker of the House, and there could still be a government shutdown before the year ends.
But Biden does not feel like the right choice despite the solid odds here. 2024 is still much more realistic for him.
It really comes down to 2 people.
The Main Event: Elon Musk (+175) vs. Volodymyr Zelenskyy (+100)
With respect to the growing conflict between Israel and Palestine, there is probably not enough of a central figure to be recognized for Person of the Year.
That leaves Elon Musk, the 2021 winner, and Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the 2022 winner as someone should walk away with their 2nd win here.
Love him or hate him, Musk is one of the richest and most powerful people in the world. Not only does he continue his work with Tesla and SpaceX, but he took over Twitter and changed it to X in 2023, one of the many significant changes he made to the world’s top “digital town square” and messaging app.
Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, continues to fight off Vladimir Putin and defy the odds in Russia’s invasion attempt that started in February 2022. Zelenskyy has won over much support in the West and will never stop defending his country.
To this day, Richard Nixon in 1971-72 is the only person to win Person of the Year in consecutive years, and he shared the 2nd one with Henry Kissinger for traveling to China and negotiating peace in the Vietnam War.
And the Winner Is…
With full respect to the resiliency and fight in Zelenskyy, there may be a feeling that this war in 2023 was only a continuation of what happened in 2022, and he already won for that along with “The Spirit of Ukraine” to highlight the spirit of Ukrainian people last year.
Meanwhile, Musk has stunningly run Twitter, or X, into the ground as sources report anywhere from 55% to 90% of the company’s value when he bought it for $44 billion has been wiped out under his leadership.
Remember, Person of the Year does not have to be an honor or go to the person who did things that were good for the world. With every tweet, Musk makes us question how he could be such a successful engineer with his other endeavors when he seemingly cannot run a social media company to save his life.
All publicity is good publicity, but Musk would probably enjoy winning Person of the Year a 2nd time even if it came with heavy criticism for the way he messed up the world’s digital town square.
Time Person of the Year 2023: Elon Musk (+175) at BetOnline