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The Nobel Peace Prize

August 30th, 2006

Who will be the 2006 laureate – or laureates?

An interesting market which politicalbetting contributors were discussing yesterday for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, to be announced on 13 October. Like many of the bookies’ novelty markets, there’s room for oddsmakers to have some fun. One doubts much money is being taken on Hugo Chávez or Oprah Winfrey.

The favourite, at 5/1 with Paddy Power, is Martti Ahtisaari (pictured), the former Social Democrat President of Finland who has taken various international roles since leaving office. He served on the commission overseeing the decommissioning of IRA weapons in Northern Ireland, and most recently led the negotiations that delivered a treaty this month between the Indonesian government and the rebel movement on Aceh.

A strong CV for the prize? Probably, but the prize is not always easy to predict, and even if Ahtisaari wins he may not be alone. If the award committee is particularly concerned to recognise the Aceh treaty, a joint award for Ahtisaari and the Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono may result. Susilo is himself 6/1 second favourite. Punters should take note that the bookies would settle a joint award using dead heat rules – in other words, your odds would be halved if the prize went jointly to two winners, and cut even more if it were shared more widely.

My thanks to the commenters who began this discussion yesterday, particularly SBS and John O.

Philip Grant
Guest editor

Mike Smithson returns on 10th September.






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