Five individuals chosen by the Norwegian Parliament are sworn to secrecy, as they are the only ones who know the identity of the future Nobel Peace Price winner. The speculation over who will win has prompted some to gamble over who will win this year.
The New York Times reports that international sites will take bets on just about any unknown from United States presidential nominations to who will be cast in major films, to even the Nobel Peace Prize.
Betting on events with a known outcome, such as the Nobel Peace Prize, is illegal in the United States. Internationally, bookmakers are permitted to make these types of bets.
Bettors have spent thousands of dollars recently placing bets on who will receive the Nobel Prize in the peace and literature categories. This number is fractional to those who bet on the World Cup.
However, a spokesperson for a popular betting website in Britain and Ireland referred to the Nobel Prize bets as an “annual fixture” in the betting world. The website, Paddy Power, has seen about $15,000 in Peace Prize bets, so far.
Current tallies are showing German chancellor Angela Merkel as the most favored winner, as her bets increased following her announcements regarding the refugee crisis.
Ladbrokes, another gambling site, are putting their money on Dr. Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist who has campaigned against the use of mass rape as a wartime weapon. Pope Francis is also a strong contender among bettors.
Despite many being surprised that Svetlana Alexievich took home the literature prize, bettors had her as the favored contender all along, with 3 to 1 odds of winning, as well as thousands of dollars at stake.
The deadline for Nobel Prize submissions was back in February, with only a select group of former winners, legislators, professors, and members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee allowed to make nominations.