Bets on Olympic Flame Lighter Refunded

It was impossible for punters to guess who would light the London cauldron

The fact that the honour of igniting the Olympic cauldron went not to a single athlete or celebrity, but to seven young sportsmen and women, confounded predictions on the final torch bearer and made it impossible for punters to fairly guess how the opening ceremony would play out.

That's why William Hill plc and Sky Bet were among those many bookies who voided bets and refunded deposits to punters following the big opening Friday night.

William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said the company had returned a "five-figure sum" bet by its clients who were offered odds on about 50 athletes and celebrities. And according to The Independent, the company had returned GBP 50,000 bet by punters over the past seven years.

The favorite athlete for the honour was five-time rowing gold medalist Sir Steve Redgrave who was involved by carrying the torch into the Olympic Stadium but then handed it off to the seven young people. Another favourite not paying off either was veteran 4-minute-miler Roger Bannister.

The torch lighting bet had made for a "lively market" with plenty of small bets in the GBP 5, 10 and 15 range, with the biggest wager at William Hill around GBP 100.

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