Pope Francis’ shock election may have disappointed the favourites, or ‘papabili’ as they are known – but it meant big bucks for the bookies.
Rupert Adams, Media Relations Manager at top UK bookmakers’ William Hill, explained: “Scola – he was our red-hot favourite. Most of the money was for him. He’s probably the top Italian cardinal, and we could see why that was happening. We owe Scola big time. I’d be very happy to take him out to the best restaurant in the whole of Rome!”
The bets are already on for the new pope’s successor, as euronews correspondent Ali May explained: “Betting mad Britons will punt on pretty much anything from horse racing to the weight of the royal baby, from football results to the Eurovision Song Contest. But now it’s all about the pope – not Francis, but the one after him.”
Adams at William Hill said: “What we’re betting on is what country the next pope will come from. I mean, once again I think that Europe is probably the likely favourite, because obviously now – depending on how long this papacy is – it will have been a very long time since an Italian cardinal was around.”
As Pope Francis settles into his first week on the job the bookies, as always, are looking ahead to what may happen next.