HORSE racing, the world cup, Wimbledon.

I can understand why people place bets on such things. But what sort of person would go into a bookies to place a bet on whether Prince Harry will get engaged?

I find it fascinating that anyone could drum up so much interest, to care enough to risk their hard-earned cash on something like this.

But lots of people do and one national chain of bookies, Ladbrokes, suspended bets on the wedding, sparking rumours that an announcement was imminent, and, of course, it was.

Maybe I should have put this speculation to good use and raced off to Paddy Power with a £50 note before it became public knowledge. But even though it was a virtual dead cert I could not have brought myself to do it.

People seem to be able to bet on anything these days and the royals are a popular choice with bets being taken not only on their offspring’s name but first word, university, career, first overseas visit, and even the age at which each young royal is first photographed at a nightclub.

Maybe there’s money to be made, and I’m missing out. Aside from occasional flutters on horse racing and office sweepstakes, I’m not much of a gambler, although I certainly wish I had bet on Leicester City winning the Premiership last year… me and ten million other ‘with-hindsight’ punters.

No wonder we all missed out - at the time bookmakers thought it was more likely that Elvis was found alive and well than Leicester City winning. At the beginning of the season the football club was 5000/1 to win, while certain bookmakers had the King's resurrection at 2,000/1. At the same time odds of 1000/1 were being offered of Prince William and Kate having triplets.

That’s not the only unlikely event in recent years where I could probably have pocketed a few quid had I made an early bet. There’s the Brexit referendum result, and Donald Trump’s unexpected presidential victory, although bets are still open at 80/1 of Trump being challenged to a round of golf by Kim Jong-Un to settle their differences.

The 50/1 odds of Kim Jong-Un emigrating to America in his lifetime are surely worth a couple of pounds.

Betting that snow will fall in the UK on Christmas Day is an old favourite. Nowadays, it’s a long shot, with global warming having all but eliminated the chance of it happening. I always believed that bets centred around at least one snowflake falling on the roof of the Meteorological Office building in London, but now it seems to be logged at various locations around the country.

Bookmakers focus on airports for Christmas snowfall, with Leeds-Bradford standing at the surprisingly high odds of 4/1 for this year.

Office sweepstakes can be great fun. At one time our computers failed so often that a colleague set up a daily game where we all placed £1 bets on the time it would crash. He had a chart specially drawn up with times at ten minute intervals. I came back from a meeting one day to find a note on my desk saying I had won, alongside a bag containing almost £30. My choice of time, 11.30am I seem to think, was closest.

I don’t know whether bookies accept any old bet, but as Christmas approaches, I can think of a few things that I would put money on. That the festive TV offerings will be heavy with dull repeats, that by December 25 we will all be sick of the sight of Christmas jumpers and that I will still be finding pine needles in my living room at Easter.