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LONDON -– A man dressed in a top hat and nice suit walked into a London betting shop and wagered $150 (£100) that Kate Middleton and Prince William would call their baby Mary, according to British betting giants William Hill.
Because of the size of the wager — William Hill says a $4.50 bet is more the norm – the odds shortened on the name, making it one of the current odds-on-favorites.
With Middleton, who is widely referred to as the Duchess of Cambridge here, scheduled to give birth later this month, bookies are offering fans of the British royals and other betting people odds on myriad subjects.
Aside from the obvious categories of gender and name, gamblers can also place a bet on who will be holding the baby when the couple emerges from hospital.
William Hill is offering the same odds of 10/11 for both Kate and William.
Others are also offering odds on which film or TV show the royal baby may appear in.
Ladbrokes, another U.K. betting giant, is offering 50/1 that the baby will land a part in ITV hit drama Downton Abbey, 100/1 that he or she may turn up on Simon Cowell‘s The X Factor and 25/1 that the latest heir to the throne might end up in a James Bond movie.
With Kate expected to have her baby around mid-July at St. Mary’s Hospital, London — the same place where Princess Diana gave birth to Prince William in 1982 — there is also money being wagered on which magazine will land the photo rights to the royal parents and baby.
For Ladbrokes, OK magazine, part of Channel 5 owner Richard Desmond‘s empire, is the 5/2 favorite, ahead of Vogue (5/1).
Online betting giant Paddy Power is also offering people the chance to win big with bets on hair color.
Odds are 9/4 each for red and brown, with blonde being the outside bet at 11/4. The firm also offers 5/2 odds that the baby will have black hair.
The online gambling firm is also offering punters the chance to place money on how old Kate and William’s child will be when the first national daily print newspaper publishes a photograph of him or her entering or leaving a nightclub that serves alcohol.
Odds are 10/11 for 16 or under, 10/11 for ages 17-18 and 16/1 for 19 or over.
Despite the quirkier categories, most of the betting remains firmly on the name.
According to William Hill, Mary (10/1) and Eleanor (12/1) have been the two most backed names by the end of June.
They are followed by Alexandra (5/2), Charlotte (4/1), Elizabeth (5/1), Diana (6/1) and Victoria (7/1).
“If no one knew then, the prices should be the same, but in the last four weeks, we have not taken a single bet on a male heir, which is very strange indeed,” said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.
In March this year she was given a white teddy bear by a spectator at a Royal engagement in England and said thanks, “I’ll give it to my d…” before cutting herself off. When asked if she was going to say daughter she said “we’re not telling.”
In other naming bet options, Chardonnay is offered at 250/1 by Ladbrokes and William Hill, while Paddy Power is offering 500/1 if Kate and William name the baby Wayne.
For brave gamblers, bookies offer so-called accumulator bets, which are bets on a variety of categories in the hope of getting everything right.
William Hill says the royal betting market might see $150,000 punted by the time of birth, a minimal sum compared to the hundreds of millions of pounds placed on the annual Grand National horse race.
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