Punters like Kiwi's Booker chances

Eleanor Catton is on the Man Booker shortlist. Photo / APN
Eleanor Catton is on the Man Booker shortlist. Photo / APN

Fancy a flutter on whether Eleanor Catton will win the Man Booker prize next week?

UK bookmakers are reporting record numbers of people placing bets on cultural events as the non-sports events market grows.

Ladbrokes and Paddy Power report that betting on the Man Booker Prize is at a record level with New Zealander Catton's novel The Luminaries sitting equal second favourite with most bookmakers.

It is behind Jim Crace's Harvest but equal with Colm Toibin's The Testament of Mary.

If she wins on Wednesday, Eleanor Catton will become the second New Zealander to take the prize, after Keri Hulme for The Bone People but will also become the youngest winner. Lloyd Jones was shortlisted for the Man Booker for Mr Pip.

Alex Donohue of bookmaker Ladbrokes told the Times there would have been a time when people would have been amazed by the fact that you can place a bet on prizes such as the Nobel or Man Booker.

"Attitudes to what is referred to as 'novelty' or 'specials' betting are changing rapidly, both within the industry, and more importantly for the general public."

Ladbrokes is also taking bets on the 2013 World Chess Championship and betting on the next chief executive of Microsoft has proved surprisingly popular, with bets taken from more than 20 countries.

Another niche betting market includes which restaurant or chef will be awarded a Michelin star.

- NZ Herald

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