Inside and outside of Oakland

A new pope will be picked — you can REALLY bet on it

  People will bet on just about anything, and bookmakers are happy to offer odds on just about anything — including who will be the next Catholic pope.

  Within hours Monday after Pope Benedict XVI upstaged U.S. President Barack Obama's last-day preparations for the State of the Union address and announced he will resign Feb. 28, bookmakers were already offering odds on a successor.
  A successor will be chosen by a Catholic conclave in March.
  London bookmaker William Hill gives Ghana Cardinal Peter Turkson 3-1 odds as the favorite followed by Canada's Cardinal Marc Ouellet at 7-2, and Nigeria's Cardinal Francis Arinze at 4-1.
  The Ireland betting site Paddy Power, tongue-in-cheek as only the Irish can be, gives 1,000-1 odds that the next pope will be U2 singer Bono.

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