Thursday, October 21, 2010

Odds favour an Italian Pope

Bono at the Vanity Fair kickoff party for the ...Pope Bono: 1000/1 longshot
Ireland’s largest bookmaker is betting that the next Pope will be an Italian, following Pope Benedict XVI’s appointment of 24 new cardinals this week.

Paddy Power makes an Italian its 7/4 favourite to succeed Pope Benedict as the 266th Pope when the time comes. The updated odds stem from the news that 10 of the new cardinals are Italian, and 25 of the 120 voting-age cardinals will be Italian.

Italians held the papacy for 455 years until the election of Poland's John Paul II in 1978, followed by the German-born Benedict in 2005.

Despite the pro-Italian odds, Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze is still the overall frontrunner at 2/1. Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec is pegged at 40/1.

And in case you were wondering, U2's Bono is the 1000/1 rank outsider. As Paddypower admits, "While the odds look stacked against the Irishman it is worth remembering that technically any unmarried Catholic man could be chosen as the next Pope!"

The 24 new cardinals will receive their red berettas and rings Nov. 20 in Rome.

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