Could Lance Armstrong Be The Next Pope?

Monday February 11th, 2013

Lance Armstrong for Pope?

Unlikely? Sure. But that doesn't mean you can't bet on it.

British oddsmaker Gala Coral has listed the zero-time Tour de France champion as a 10,000-to-1 longshot to succeed Pope Benedict XVI when he resigns on Feb. 28.

Within hours of the Pontiff's suprise announcement on Monday, more than two dozen major online bookmakers had posted odds on his successor. And while names such as Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson and Canadian Marc Ouellet have emerged as the consensus favorites, several figures from the sporting realm have appeared toward the bottom of the boards.

Mario Balotelli? The combustible Italian footballer is a 5,000-to-1 longshot according to Stan James, another U.K. oddsmaker, which lists Francisco Totti at the same price.

For a (slightly) more realistic pick from the sports realm, how about Jose Mourinho? Gala Coral lists the decorated soccer manager as a 1,000-to-1 longshot, the same odds as U2 frontman Bono. Technically, any baptized Catholic male is eligible for the position, although historically the Pope has been chosen from among the College of Cardinals. That said, just because "The Special One" is eligible, look for the Vatican to leave this one to the experts.

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