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The biggest day of the year

Today shapes up as an exciting day for just about everyone. Homeowners, gamblers, investors, and those who keenly watch American politics all have an event to look forward to today.

The day kicks off with an announcement from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on official interest rates at 2.30pm AEDT. Economists are overwhelmingly tipping the RBA to cut rates, with 20 out of 26 backing a rate cut according to Bloomberg. Retail sales were up 0.5% in September, following a rise of 0.3% in August, and new car sales were up 12.2% in October according to VFACTS, suggesting the economy is showing signs of growth, and therefore, the RBA may feel no need to further stimulate it through lower rates. On the other hand, rising unemployment and the stubbornly high Australian dollar may warrant a cut in the official cash rate.

Before you’ll have time to digest the news, race 7 at Flemington in Victoria, otherwise known as the Melbourne Cup, will kick off at 3pm AEST. According to the Motley Fool’s in-house tipping guru, a horse is guaranteed to win. Investors in Tabcorp Holdings (ASX: TAH) and Tatts Group (ASX: TTS) will be hoping punters outlay more than they did last year. According to Tabcorp, more than $143 million was gambled on the Melbourne Cup in 2011, and the company took $93 million from gamblers in NSW and Victoria.

Punters will then be able to take a bit of a breather, before the $100 million Oz Lotto draw at 8.30pm AEDT. Fairfax Media estimates that 1 in 2 Australian adults will buy a ticket in the draw. The jackpot could shoot even higher if history is any indication. The 2009 $90 million jackpot rose to $106.5 million as excitement increased. Jumbo Interactive  (ASX: JIN), owner of the OzLotteries.com.au website, will certainly be hoping that plenty of people buy tickets online, through their site.

Then, the American presidential election kicks off Tuesday night (our time), with the race between incumbent, Barack Obama and challenger, Mitt Romney apparently neck and neck, although betting site, InTrade reckons there’s a 67.5% probability of Obama winning.

The Foolish bottom line

An exciting day looms for many. Good luck to all – please remember to gamble responsibly – and enjoy the day.

If you only invest in one company this year, make it our “Top Stock for 2012-13”. Operating in two hot markets — one set to double by 2012, the other predicted to grow 5x over the next five years — this stock is a solid growth play that also boasts strong recurring revenue, zero debt, and lots of cash. Get its name and full research case in this brand-new FREE report.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King owns shares in Jumbo Interactive. The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Take Stock is The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. Click here now to request your free subscription, whilst it’s still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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