What are the odds of a UFO sighting during the London Olympics opening ceremony? Or of the final torch bearer tripping as they ascend to light the flame? Or would you prefer a more traditional wager on the battle for gold between Russia and Spain in synchronized swimming duos?
London betting houses will offer odds on almost anything, including all 26 sports at the games, from the 100-metre dash to fencing, from diving to football. The industry expects to handle a record 100 million pounds (NZ$197 million) in wagers during the July 27-August 12 competition – even some pretty outlandish parlays.
A shame our gaming laws are so restrictive.
William Hill offers perhaps the longest odds of the games: 1000-to-1 that a flying saucer will appear over Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony. Tough luck, presumably, if aliens don’t make first contact until the next day.
Other longshots get slightly better odds, like 250-to-1 that every team in the 4×400-metre relay final drops the baton, or 33-to-1 that flamboyant London Mayor Boris Johnson accidentally lights his hair on fire with the Olympic torch.
I’d be tempted to place some money on Boris self-immolating 🙂