According to the online bettors, this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature will skip well-known authors Thomas Pynchon, Haruki Murakami and Phillip Roth for a more musically minded writer. Despite the Swedish Academy never awarding a songwriter with its top literary prize, the online betting site Ladbrookes has Bob Dylan with the best odds for walking away with the 2011 award.
The Guardian reported that overnight on Tuesday, Dylan’s odds jumped from 100/1 to 10/1. Wednesday, the site had his odds for winning at 5/1, beating out all other contenders. Ladbrookes reported that 80 percent of all bets in a 12-hour period went to Dylan.
The speculation had centered on Syrian poet Adonis for the win this year, but his odds are now at 6/1.
While the name may surprise some, Dylan has been a repeat contender for the prize. In 2004, Gordon Ball, an author and literature professor at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., told Glide Magazine he had nominated the songwriter every year since 1996.
The Nobel is not the only prize the minstrel poet has been nominated for over the past six decades. Just three years ago, he won a Pulitzer Prize.
We’ll have to wait until Thursday to hear the announcement, but perhaps 2011 is the year for Dylan to finally win the Nobel. Or it could be the bettors are taking gambling advice from Dylan’s own songs: “Make your money while you can, before you have to stop, / For when you pull that dead man's hand, your gamblin’ days are up.”