Why is a ‘Yankee’ bet so-called?
A ‘Yankee’ bet is, of course, is a full cover, multiple bet, which combines four selections, in four different events, in six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold accumulator, making eleven bets is total. Some sources suggest that the name of the bet is derived from the traditional, informal meaning of ‘Yankee’ – that is, a native or inhabitant of the United States of America – and cite a convenient, but probably apocryphal, account of an American GI who made a substantial profit from placing such as bet at some unconfirmed point in history.
However, it seems much more likely that the name of the bet was derived from an Australian nuance of ‘Yankee’, once again meaning ‘American’, but in the sense of ‘equal for all’. The word ‘Yankee’ appears in the expressions ‘Yankee shout’, meaning a social outing in which everyone pays for themselves, and ‘Yankee tournament’, meaning a sporting contest in which everyone plays everyone else, which date from the mid-twentieth century. It follows that ‘Yankee’ should also be used to describe a multiple bet in which each horse is coupled, in doubles, trebles and an accumulator with every other horse in the bet.