The wages of sin is death, the Bible tells us, but that’s not stopping gamblers from trying to make serious shekels by picking the next pope.
ABC News reports betting on the next pontiff may be the biggest non-sports gamble in Internet history for one online bookie, Ireland-based Paddy Power. In 2005, before Pope Benedict XVI was selected, Paddy Power took in more than $1 million euros from papal prognosticators. This year, they expect a lot more.
Currently, Paddy Power bettors are betting the next pope will be Italian.
At Paddy Power, Archbishop Angelo Scola, from Italy, is a 7-2 bet, meaning a bettor would get $7 for placing a successful $2 bet.
Other contenders are literally all over the map.
An early favorite, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, from Canada, has fallen to 4/1.
Another early favorite, Cardinal Francis Arinze, from Nigeria, has plummeted to 10/1 odds.
Oddschecker.com, which aggregates the odds from 17 online bookies, has Ouellet in the lead, with Scola in third. Cardinal Peter Turkson, from Ghana, places 2nd overall there.
Winning the lottery is long odds, but spending $1 on the Mega Millions is probably a safer investment than going large on some of the Vatican longshots.
The money lost by taking 1000/1 odds on U2 singer Bono becoming the next Bishop of Rome will definitely NOT benefit education in Georgia.