Betting on the New Pope to Reach Millions of Dollars

PHOTO: Who will become the next pope? Place your bets.

While the U.S. has deemed it illegal to place bets on who will become the next pope -- the selection process is considered an election -- plenty of people around the world (even in the U.S., in the form of "unofficial" pools) have put down cash on who they think will become the next leader of the Catholic Church.

As New Jersey's Asbury Park Press reports, more than 20,000 people have bet several hundred thousand dollars on the change, with bookmakers estimating that number to "quickly move into the millions." That could be a record for a non-sporting event.

PaddyPower spokesman Rory Scott says he expects betting to reach "about $7 million" as the College of Cardinals convene to make their selection. Last time a new pope was selected, PaddyPower, which is based in Ireland, took in $1.3 million.

As we reported shortly after the pope announced his plans to step down, online betting forums like OddsChecker.com and PaddyPower.com have Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana as the clear front-runner.

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
 
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Firefighters rescue a woman who got stuck in a chimney in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Ventura County Fire Department
PHOTO: Up in Ash: Mount Sinabung Erupting
Tibt Nangin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
PHOTO: Apple Pay is demonstrated at Apple headquarters on Oct. 16, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo
PHOTO: Defendant Jodi Arias testifies about killing Travis Alexander in 2008 during her murder trial in Phoenix, Feb. 20, 2013.
Charlie Leight/The Arizona Republic/AP Photo
PHOTO: Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, their daughter North West and Delphine Arnault attend the Givenchy show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015, Sept. 28, 2014 in Paris.
Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/French Select/Getty Images