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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

For Some Gamblers, A Papal Payoff

You know I can't resist the whole "betting" angle of the election of the new Pope. MSNBC.com reports that some folks won big:

"When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope, he wasn't the only winner. Thousands worldwide placed bets on him through the Web — and an inspired few hundred even correctly guessed he'd take the name Benedict.

Among a handful of Internet-based bookmakers who offered odds on the next pope, the biggest player was Paddy Power PLC, the No. 1 bookie in Ireland.

Minutes after Benedict XVI appeared in St. Peter's Square, Paddy Power was collecting — or paying out — on more than 10,000 bets totaling more than $260,000.

The biggest winners: Someone who put down $1,050 Saturday on a Ratzinger victory at odds of 6 to 1, which meant a payout of $7,350; and somebody else who waged $260 on the new pontiff's taking Benedict, which at 3-to-1 odds meant $1,050 back."

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