Harry Potter Betting Resumes

Bets Reopen on Dumbledore Death (BBC)

Betting has reopened on the possible death of Dumbledore in the latest Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, due out in July.

Bets on which protagonist dies in the novel opened eight months ago, after author JK Rowling confirmed that a key character would be killed.

But betting was suspended on Tuesday after a flurry of bets on Dumbledore aroused suspicion of a possible leak.

Potter publishers Bloomsbury urged fans to take rumours “with a pinch of salt”.

“There was a huge amount of speculation about Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and it was wide of the mark,” a spokeswoman for Bloomsbury said.

Internet betting website Blue Square suspended betting on Tuesday following suspicions that the manuscript could have been read.

The raft of bets on Hogwarts’ headmaster Dumbledore’s death came from the town of Bungay in Suffolk, where it is believed the latest book is being printed.

The site has since re-introduced betting with “prohibitive” odds of 1-5 on Dumbledore’s death.


The story grabbed my attention because I’m currently reading The Wisdom of Crowds, which covers, among other things, betting markets. In the event that I forget to post a review — highly likely, knowing my summer schedule — read this excellent Slate discussion between author James Surowiecki and his New Yorker colleague Malcolm Gladwell.

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture,
Robert Garcia Tagorda
About Robert Garcia Tagorda
Robert blogged prolifically at OTB from November 2004 to August 2005, when career demands took him in a different direction. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.