Placing a £10 bet on Donald Trump, Brexit and Leicester City winning the Premier League this year would have made you a millionaire… 30 times over.
In fact, at the beginning of the year bookies predicted that there was just a 0.000033 chance of all three events happening. Yet here we are; 2016 has certainly been unpredictable! Our editors take a look back at the highs, lows and downright surprises of 2016.
UK Politics: David Cameron was right in his New Year message when he said Great Britain "will make some of [its] most significant strides yet" in 2016. 2016 has seen the United Kingdom vote to end its 43 year membership of the EU (originally the EEC) and appoint Theresa May, its first female Prime Minister since Thatcher in 1979. The decision to leave the EU on 24 June 2016 will change all aspects of the United Kingdom; from laws and politics to education and trade. The true impact of the vote, as discussed by trainees in our Brexit series, will only be determined once Article 50 is invoked.
2016 was also an extraordinary year for sport. Having started the season on the brink of relegation, Leicester City shocked the world with their Premier League victory. This football fairytale has since seen Leicester join the UEFA Champions League, gain millions of fans globally (in Thailand), and seen the value of their squad treble or even quadruple. The losers in this tale are undoubtedly the bookies. Their 5000/1 reckoning that a Leicester triumph was less likely than an Elvis resurrection saw them lose an estimated £25m. No doubt the Foxes will always be on their mind.
Other sporting highlights include Team GB's 214 medals in the Rio games and Murray's second Wimbledon win (and third BBC Sports Personality of the Year win). For the trainees' take on these events, check out Charlotte's post on the tennis pay gap and Chris' analysis of the true cost of the Games.
This year has been a little crazy for most of us on the planet, but at least life in space has been pretty peachy. British-born Tim Peake completed his mission on the ISS in June and during his time aboard lifted our spirits with his New Year's message, completed the London Marathon space-style and sent us some stunning shots of twinkling earth (it looks like a peaceful place from 400km away). Oh, and after almost 5 years of travel, NASA space probe Juno successfully reached Jupiter's orbit in July and is finding out all sorts of cool stuff about the largest planet in our solar system. All in all 2016 was pretty great... off of Earth at least.
2016 has also been a momentous year in the world of entertainment. There's been success for the tried and tested, with Leonardo Di Caprio finally scooping an Oscar for his gripping performance in The Revenant - we hope Leo's done some mantlepiece rearranging to give it pride of place! There have also been some new arrivals. The rise of the reality star has continued with the likes of Honey G, 'Strictly Balls' and Scarlett Moffat all making their way onto our screens this year. Finally, we've sadly had to say goodbye to a Great British Institution. RIP Bake Off as we know it. In 2017 all eyes will be on Paul Hollywood, to see if he really can have his iced bun and eat it.
We've witnessed another stonking year for the tech industry. The launch of Amazon Echo (Alexa) and Google Home demonstrates the take-off of voice assistants, whilst Apple’s announcement that it is working on an automated car shows that there is no let-up in the fast-developing market for automated vehicles. 2016 also saw a saturation of wearable fitness devices in the marketplace and the announcement that both Google and Facebook are opening their European HQs in London in 2017. However, undoubtedly the biggest tech hype of the year was the launch of Pokémon Go in July. Having been downloaded over 500 million times, its success suggests that augmented reality apps are the next big thing. The Trainees Take on Business Blog considered a number of other issues: from the benefits of AI for the legal industry to the risks of smart technology in the workplace.
The US Election:
How to sum up the political circus that was the 2016 US Presidential Election in a short paragraph? Bernie Sanders’ “revolution” is quashed; Hillary becomes the first female major-party nominee; The Donald trumps Jeb(!) and “Lyin’ Ted”; Russia hacks the Democratic Party emails; WikiLeaks leaks them; Trump insults [x]; Emails; build a wall!; fake news; even stranger real news; Trump tweets; sexual assault confessed on tape; FBI’s false alarm on emails; polls wrong again; Trump wins Electoral College; Clinton wins popular vote by 2m; President Trump. The Trainees Take on Business Blog's coverage of the US Election can be found here.