British punters who had supported Holland to beat the mighty Spain in Sunday’s World Cup final showdown are switching sides after Paul the octopus oracle predicted that the Spaniards will win the World Cup, bookmakers said Friday.
“The ‘Paul Effect’ has turned the betting on its head with more punters backing Spain since the famous octopus gave his verdict,” Paddy Power bookies spokesman said.
The octopus led the way with a perfect record of guessing six out of six winners from his aquarium in western Germany, where he is provided with two boxes to choose from, each box contains mussels and the flag of the two competing World Cup teams.
The ceremony was aired live on German television Friday, the English-born cephalopod wasted no time in plumping for the Spanish box ahead of Sunday’s match.
Before Paul’s prediction, Paddy Power said it had seen 54 percent of the bets were casted placed on the Dutch to win. But since then, 56 percent have gone on Spain.
“Whilst the shrewdies and big money punters are firmly backing Spain, Holland had been the more popular bet amongst the casual punters in terms of number of bets placed,” said a spokesman and followed: “But since Paul’s prediction on a Spain win we’ve taken more bets on the Spanish for the first time since the final line-up was known.”
The octopus predictions is not as strong at rival bookmakers’ William Hill, who said people are suspicious of placing huge amount on the musings of an octopus.
“We have not changed our prices. We’ve had a few quick rushes on Spain after Paul’s prediction, but I think our betters make their own decision rather than following the octopus,” a spokesman said.