A "Whitemare" for top bookies

When it comes to having a flutter on matters relating to this county, Donegal is proving a bit of a "whitemare" for top bookmakers Paddy Power.

When it comes to having a flutter on matters relating to this county, Donegal is proving a bit of a "whitemare" for top bookmakers Paddy Power.

Just last month after the results of the Red C poll were revealed which gave Deputy Pearse Doherty 40% of first preferences, the bookmakers immediately paid out on all Doherty wagers a week before the by - election.

This time around it has been snow joke once again when Donegal lived up to the slogan "Up here, we're different" when the bookie today announced it was paying out early on a white Christmas giving many punters an early Christmas present.

The county has been carpeted in snow from Malin Head to Bundoran after

a very short thaw from the last fortnight's Arctic spell and without a meaningful thaw in sight, it seems that the conditions are set to remain with us for quite some time.

The payout, triggering an incredible €50,000 early Christmas gift for punters, came despite bookmakers' rules traditionally stating that snow must actually fall on December 25th for bets to count.

However with the whole country under the spell of the current big freeze Paddy Power has thrown away the rule book and paid out on what is as clear as the driven snow to everybody – there is snow on the ground.

Paddy Power himself said: "We've taken about double the bets this year compared to last year which isn't really a surprise considering the weather we've had. The rules say that snow has to fall on Christmas day for the bets to click but what the heck, it's Christmas so we're paying out regardless!"

"Hopefully this will give our customers some small festive cheer as they struggle to get around in the weather."

The odds of a white Christmas in Dublin were as short as 6/5 when Paddy Power ran up the white flag. Paddy Power are also paying out on a white Christmas in Cork and Belfast in their biggest ever weather payout.