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New-pope bettors were wrong


06:39 AM March 14th, 2013

March 14th, 2013 06:39 AM

In this March 1, 2013, file photo, Jessica Bridge, a spokesperson with a betting company, poses for members of the media, next to a board with odds regarding the possible new Pope, central London. AP/LEFTERIS PITARAKIS

Bettors gambling on Pope Benedict’s replacement were very much wrong.

Argentina’s Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, was a consensus 25-1 underdog to be selected at the conclave, gambling expert R.J. Bell of says.

At least 15 names were considered ahead of Bergoglio in 12 books accepting wagers on the papal election in Europe and online outside the United States. “Everyone was paying attention to the top dozen or so favorites,” Bell says.

Now, at least one online bookmaker is letting bettors speculate on Pope Francis’ future. Ireland-based Paddy Power is offering 16-1 odds that Catholics will see a third pope in 2013, and 5-2 odds that Pope Francis will eventually resign.—Oskar Garcia

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