British bookie refunds all Olympic flame bets

July 28, 2012

The perfectly kept secret about who would light the Olympic cauldron caught even Britain's savvy bookmakers by surprise.

So much so, that a leading oddsmaker is refunding all wagers because it was too tough for gamblers to guess the identity of the seven young athletes who had the honor Friday.

William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams says ''the result was all but impossible to predict.''

Adams says the betting operator is giving back a ''five-figure sum'' bet by its clients who were offered odds on about 50 athletes and celebrities.

Five-time rowing gold medalist Steve Redgrave was the longtime favorite. He carried the torch into the Olympic Stadium to hand it to the seven young people.

A late surge of wagers on former mile world record-holder Roger Bannister did not pay off.