World Cup Numbers: William Hill SportsPublished July 17, 2010 by OCR Editor
Record amount bet on World Cup, British bookmaker says.
A record £1 billion was bet on the 2010 FIFA World Cup, according to British bookmaker William Hill, which has released all the betting figures on the recently completed tournament.
Unsurprisingly, the Spain-Netherlands final, which the Spaniards won 1-0 in extra time, recorded the highest volume of betting money at the bookmaker. Next in line were the Germany-Spain semi-final, and England's matches against Algeria, the USA and Germany.
In contrast, the lowest staking match of the World Cup was the Mexico-Uruguay game, while North Korea vs Ivory Coast and Paraguay vs New Zealand also attracted little interest.
Somewhat surprisingly, bwin reported the semi-finals match between Spain and Germany drew the highest volume of bets, as reported here.
Meanwhile, William Hill estimates that punters who followed predictions made by Paul the Octopus - the German-based sea creature that predicted correctly the result of all Germany's games and the final - have won up to half a million pounds.
"We can but hope Paul has gone to a rest home for retired octopi by the time the next World Cup gets underway," a William Hill spokesman said.
Betting for the 2014 World Cup is now underway, with host Brazil, 7/2, Spain, 9/2, and Argentina, 6/1 leading the odds at the bookmaker.
Spain is 25/1 to win both Euro 2012 (being played in Poland and Ukraine) and the 2014 World Cup.