Who Will Win Time Person of the Year For 2023?
Betting sites expect Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy to comfortably be named Time Person of the Year for 2022 following the politician’s decisive action in defending Ukraine from Russian invasion.
In a year dominated by Russia’s aggression towards its neighbour, the growing climate crisis and social unrest on both sides of the Atlantic, Zelenskyy appears to be a unifying presence that everyone can get behind.
Time magazine officially opened its voting for the award in late November. Among the noteworthy candidates up for the gong are Zelenskyy, King Charles III and the Ukrainian People.
Politicians and influential figures have generally dominated the Time award but occasionally the honour is bestowed to a group of people.
And Time usually has to stress that its “person of the year” won’t necessarily go to a positive figure, but instead one that has had the most influence on the world over the past 12 months.
Previous Time winners include Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama, as well as the fighters against the 2014 Ebola outbreak, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and three different popes.
Data from Time.com initially showed 2022 is being dominated by president Zelenskyy. But the likes of Putin, Queen Elizabeth II and 2021 winner Elon Musk are seemingly in the running.
The winner for 2022 will be announced in early December. Here, we look over the frontrunners and the latest odds on specials betting sites for each candidate.
Hoovering up votes early on, it appears as though the best betting sites already reckon Zelenskyy will win this award. He is priced at 2/17 to be named Time Person of the Year 2022, and few would begrudge him that title. Zelenskyy began the year warning of potential Russian aggression on the Ukraine border and will likely end it with Russia occupying a fifth of his country.
Ukraine has, however, fought back in recent months and exposed Russia’s catastrophic military gamble. It is thought around 100,000 people have died on both sides of the conflict. Zelenskyy has the support of the majority of world leaders, and has proved a respectable, reliable politician and leader.
If Zelenskyy doesn’t win Time Person of the Year 2022 then perhaps it will go to a group – and some betting apps reckon there’s a 50% chance it could be the Ukrainian People.
With millions displaced by Russia’s illegal invasion, Ukraine’s population has steadily fought back. They pushed Russian troops away from Kyiv and back across the Donbas. They’ve been resolute in the face of horrific persecution.
The last group to win the Time award were journalists – roundly named The Guardians – in 2018. They included the murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Rappler editor Maria Ressa, staff at Maryland newspaper The Capital, and Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo captured by the Myanmar regime.
As we mentioned earlier, the Time Person of the Year doesn’t always go to the good guys. Vladimir Putin “won” this award in 2007 and no other individual has had such an impact on the world this year than the Russian president.
His invasion of Ukraine – dubbed a “special military operation” has already cost the lives of 100,000 Russians, and caused many to flee the country.
Russia is now largely isolated from the world, which is groaning under the economic blow the gas-producing country has dealt. Putin’s strategy has so-far failed but the West is wary that when the bear is hurt, it could lash out even stronger.
Russia is spending the winter boarding Ukraine from afar, waging a war of terror on the country. The odds of Putin being in the Time running in 2023 are already fairly short.
Over in America, the big social change of the year came with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs Wade, and effectively give states the choice to ban abortion if they see fit.
This triggered a swathe of activism from pro-choice campaigners, and arguably helped the Democrats retain a majority in the Senate during the US midterms.
If the world thought America’s political divisions would come together in the aftermath of the Donald Trump presidency, they’ve been proved badly wrong.
The majority of Americans may believe abortion should be legal, but anti-abortion figures have formed a block of the GOP for some time. Pro-choice campaigners are working hard to keep abortion rights in each state, and then bookies reckon they have a 5% chance of being a group Time Person of the Year for 2022.
Queen Elizabeth II
The passing of Queen Elizabeth II triggered 10 days of mourning in the UK and the Commonwealth, and brought to an end a 70-year reign. The Queen was first named Time Person of the Year in 1952, the year she acceded to the throne. Her reign was not without controversy and the period of mourning and her funeral did not go by without controversy.
At 19/1, politics betting sites evidently think the Queen has a slim chance of being a two-time Person of the Year, alongside the likes of Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev.
US Supreme Court
On the flip side of the abortion debate is the majority of the nine-panel Supreme Court that overturned Roe vs Wade in 2022. The decision took abortion rights away from millions of women and into the hands of individual states. Kentucky, Louisiana and South Dakota immediately banned abortion.
Abortion remains a polarising issue in US politics despite the majority of Americans supporting it. Those who are pro-life lobby hard and have representatives at all levels of the UK political structure. It marked a momentous victory for the Republicans in a year where the Democrats had majorities in the House and Senate, but not the Supreme Court.
Of course, there isn’t a year that goes by these days without Donald Trump impacting global politics. The former president may be out of power but he still holds sway over the Republican party, and decisions such as Roe vs Wade being overruled stem from his leadership.
Trump wants to run again and has already begun attacking GOP rival Ron DeSantis, in case the Florida governor runs against him. Meanwhile, the businessman is under investigation for retaining classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home, and also has lawsuits filed against him in New York.
Trump wore his 2016 Time Person of the Year award as a badge of honour. He may well get the gong again – for better or for worse.
The reigning Time Person of the Year won the award in 2021 for his business decisions with Tesla and SpaceX. Last year, he became the world’s richest man. Surely Musk couldn’t do anything so impactful to warrant him winning the 2022 award too?
Enter Twitter, and Musk’s frankly weird infatuation with the social media platform. The businessman offered $44bn to buy Twitter, which shareholders naturally accepted in a heartbeat. Musk then tried to get out of the deal but Twitter threatened to sue if he did. So he bought the platform for an arguably over-inflated price and has since tried to monetise Twitter, to middling success.
A dark horse for a future Time Person of the Year award is certainly Ron DeSantis. The Florida governor cruised to victory in his US midterms campaign, and is seeking to win the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election.
DeSantis is popular among more than just Republicans, and is considered a palatable option for the GOP against the divisive Trump. Cue an almighty rumble between the two.
Trump is already attacking DeSantis, and the younger figure is yet to show his cards. 2022 might be a year too soon for DeSantis, but if he beats Trump to the GOP nomination then he’ll swiftly become one of the most famous and influential politicians on the planet.
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