LONDON: Bookmakers have been quick to offer odds on candidates to replace Pope Benedict XVI, with cardinals from Ghana, Nigeria and Canada among the early favorites.
Ghana’s Cardinal Peter Turkson, Canada’s Cardinal Marc Ouellet and Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria lead in betting with Britain’s major bookmakers.
William Hill made Turkson — one of the highest-ranking African cardinals at the Vatican — its 3-to-1 favorite Monday, followed by Ouellet at 7-to-2 and Arinze at 4-to-1. Ladbrokes also had Turkson as favorite, followed by Arinze and Ouellet.
Ireland’s Paddy Power also offered short odds on the three, as well as long odds on unlikely candidates — including U2 singer Bono at 1,000-to-1. It also offered 1,000-to-1 odds on Father Dougal Maguire, the simpleminded fictional priest from 1990s U.K. sitcom “Father Ted.”