Let me say publicly that DonBoy’s answer exudes a combination of intuitive genius and confidence that make me think DonBoy is going to do big things in his life. -- Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics blog)
Monday, April 04, 2005
Betting on the Next Pope

The Irish betting chain Paddy Power is taking bets on the next Pope. My two favorite parts:

And at one central Dublin outlet of Paddy Power, Seamus Hegarty spent a cool, calculating 20 minutes before putting his 10 euro note on a 25-1 shot: Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico.

"The money I lose on this I'll make back on the British election," predicted Hegarty, 49, who says he simply had to place a bet on someone so that he could maximize his enjoyment of watching events unfold from the Vatican.
Although not listed on its Web page, the Dublin-based bookie also was offering joke bets. Father Dougal Maguire, the fictional dim-witted priest on the British sitcom "Father Ted," attracted sufficient betting that his odds were shortened from 100,000-1 to 250-1.
According to the logic of sports bookmaking, this means that enough money came in on the non-existent Father Dougal that Paddy Power decided to move the line to protect themselves from financial ruin just in case the Vatican decided to make a fictional British sitcom character Pope.

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