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PAPAL ODDS

Thursday - 2/28/2013, 5:38am  ET

Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, of the Democratic Republic of Congo, left, and Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, of Ghana, arrive to attend Pope Benedict XVI's last general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter's Square, recalling moments of "joy and light" during his papacy but also times of great difficulty. He also thanked his flock for respecting his decision to retire. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

The Associated Press

In betting-mad Britain, bookmakers have been busy taking bets on who will replace Benedict XVI since he announced his retirement earlier this month.

The favorite is Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, who would be the first African pope. He's the frontrunner at bookies William Hill, at 5/2, and Ladrokes, at 11/4. Other leading contenders include Italian cardinals Angelo Scola and Tarcisio Bertone and Cardinal Marc Oullet of Canada.

And for those wanting to gamble on a longshot, Ladbrokes has 500/1 odds on former British Prime Minister Tony Blair -- a Catholic convert from Anglicanism -- and Irish bookmaker Paddy Power is offering 1,000/1 on U2 lead singer Bono.

-- Jill Lawless -- Twitter http://twitter.com/JillLawless


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