Bookmakers offer varied odds on next pope
London: As cardinals gathered in the Vatican on Tuesday to elect a new pope, bookmakers appeared as uncertain as everyone else as to who would emerge as leader of the world`s 1.2 billion baptized Catholics.
Cardinals Angelo Scola of Italy - seeking to become the first Italian pope in 35 years - and Odilo Scherer from Brazil are the favourites with most bookmakers, with British bookmaker William Hill offering odds of 9/4 and 4/1 respectively.
The relatively generous odds reflect what is generally regarded as being an open field, with the Catholic Church caught unawares by the unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict in February, the first unforced papal resignation in some 600 years.
The third favourite, Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, is at 9/2.
If either Scherer -- a prolific tweeter - or Turkson are elected, they would become the first non-European popes.
A dark horse, at 10/1, is Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Vatican`s chief theological watchdog.
New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, at 20/1, has also been mentioned as a possible shock victor.
His lack of fluency in foreign languages, a key skill for any pope, is a factor against him, however, analysts say.
In an interesting development, the Paddy Power bookmaker is offering odds of 500/1 for rock singer Bono.
The lead singer of Ireland`s U2 is not, however, a cardinal.
The 115 cardinal-electors attended a special Mass in St. Peter`s Basilica on Tuesday.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Indian Army conducts surgical strikes across LoC: Watch DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh's PC
- Indian Army targets terror camps across LoC; Pak PM Sharif condemns
- 7 terror camps destroyed by Indian Army in surgical strikes
- Indian Army surgical strike: Pak rejects claim, says 2 soldiers killed
- BSF cancels beating the retreat ceremony at Wagah post surgical strikes
- What is surgical strike and how it is conducted - MUST KNOW for every Indian
- SALUTE! Brave Indian army commandos give befitting reply to Pak-sponsored terrorists
- US NSA Susan Rice calls Ajit Doval, says 'expect Pakistan to take action against terror’
- Did Arvind Kejriwal tweet in favour of Pakistan over Uri attacks? Here is what Twitter says