Wrong Al Gore hits Irish bookies

The Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, which specialises in wacky bets, yesterday tripped over its own statistical odds in a bizarre bet involving the former US vice-president, Al Gore.

The Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, which specialises in wacky bets, yesterday tripped over its own statistical odds in a bizarre bet involving the former US vice-president, Al Gore.

Having opened a book on the next high-profile American to be arrested, it offered an eye-catching 14/1 on the former senator. What it didn't factor in was that Mr Gore has a 24-year-old son also called Al. So when Al Gore III was pulled over by police in California this week and arrested for alleged drug possession, he was not the only one in trouble.

Recognising it would be bad sportsmanship to quibble about the distinction between a father and son bearing identical names, the firm decided to pay up. "We got a good stoning thanks to the vice-president's son," the company said yesterday. The bizarre coincidence has cost it more than €10,000 (£6,780). About 50 punters placed wagers on Mr Gore; a number have been quick to claim their winnings.

In the same contest it had ranked George Bush and Bill Gates among the outsiders on odds of 33/1 and 50/1 respectively.

Paddy Power has explored many of the less likely permutations of celebrity lifestyles. A Paris Hilton section offers odds of 66-1 on her recording Jailhouse Rock this year.


Owen Bowcott, Ireland correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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