Novelty Betting – McCoy to profit from cephalopod’s sad departure?

October 27, 2010 | In: Articles

Paul the octopus, the unlikely star of the 2010 World Cup, has died at an aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany. Staff at the Sea Life centre in Oberhausen said they were devastated to learn that he had passed away aged two. Paul, originally hatched at an aquarium in Weymouth in Dorset, made his name by successfully choosing a mussel from one of two boxes bearing the flags of competing nations at the World Cup. He defied sceptics by correctly forecasting the outcome of eight matches including England’s defeat by Germany and Spain’s win in the final. Octopuses rarely live beyond two years of age so his death was not unexpected but that hasn’t stopped the conspiracy theories doing the rounds. It’s estimated Paul’s predictions cost bookmakers around £1million during the summer so the industry certainly won’t be sorry to see the back of the tentacled tipster. “We are consoled by the knowledge that he led a good life.” said Stefan Porwoll, manager of the Oberhausen Sea Life centre. Paul is also being mourned in Spain, where he became a national hero after forecasting the country’s first-ever World Cup triumph, though the public clamour to have him put on display at Madrid zoo never came to fruition. The prophetic cephalopod’s brief but extraordinary life is unlikely to be forgotten, however, as a TV documentary has already been filmed and his merchandise is likely to flood the Christmas market on a tide of emotion.

Paul’s demise has opened up the betting for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, however, with punters coming down firmly on the side of champion NH jockey Tony McCoy. There’s been a concerted campaign over recent years to give the Irishman the recognition his dedication to jump racing deserves and it appears the message has finally got through to the public this time around. McCoy is a general 11/8 to lift the award next month ahead of golfer Graeme McDowell, one of the heroes of Europe’s Ryder Cup win. McDowell is 11/4 with Betfred while athlete Jessica Ennis is 14/1 with Skybet, Boylesports and Paddy Power. Some would argue that 2010 has been an unremarkable year for sport in the UK which explains some of the unlikely names at the forefront of the betting but I think Graeme Swann’s contribution to English cricket over the past year may yet gain him some votes and he may be overpriced at the general 40/1.

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