BOOKS
10/11/2010 04:38 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Literary Betting: Could It Catch On In America?

But the most palpable signs of relief came from the headquarters of Ladbrokes, a betting agency based in Britain which started bookmaking on the Nobel Prize in 1987 and on the U.K.'s best-known literary award, the Man Booker Prize, two years later. That's because Vargas Llosa, despite being listed as a possible candidate for the prize every few years because of his worldwide popularity, was nowhere near the favorite to win in 2010. Odds on Vargas Llosa never went higher than 25-1 and as a result, according to a statement from Ladbrokes after the prize announcement, the author helped dodge a massive payout.

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