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Betting on the Spelling Bee

Because this is the sort of offer you can't really refuse, I will be watching the Spelling Bee tomorrow morning on site with Mike and Mike, as part of a credentialed member of the ESPN production crew, although I won't technically be producing anything, except possibly sweat. Some bloggers have offered extremely subtly critical thoughts about Mike and Mike broadcasting the Bee, but I can't say I agree. With something like this, you want to pile weirdness atop weirdness atop weirdness. If it were up to me, Sergeant Slaughter would show up, along with 1,497 group yo-yo'ers, many golfing media members and several dancing D.C. United stars.

And pool winners rejoice. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson, File)

[Incidentally, there's a 12 percent chance my credential will now be revoked, having linked to the above post to which I linked.]

Regardless, I wanted to point out that I received the following Spelling Bee pool invitation in the ol' e-mail box today. When a nation's Spelling Bee gambling options have exceeded its basketball gambling options in scope and complexity, bad things are on the horizon:

Upon confirming that you want in, we will send you a complete list of this year's spellers. All you will be given is their first and last name and their state. That's IT! You must choose 15 spellers that you think have what it takes to win it all. During the championship finals (that air on Thurs. May 31st on ABC), whichever of your spellers are left will be awarded points every time they advance to a new round (spell their word correct). The person with the highest score wins the pool. Example: If one of your spellers makes it to round 26 you will get 26 points. If you have 2 spellers get to round 26 you will get 52 points.

** Bonus points** You can select 5 out of your 15 spellers who whose points will be worth double!!

Seriously, I think my mortgage was easier to understand. Personally, I'd wait until CBSSportline has an automated Spelling Bee Commissioner. Anyhow, since I'm covering the event, I will of course not gamble on it, which would possibly risk the wrath of the WaPo ombudsman. But as in years past you can place actual wagers from actual sportsbooks on, at a minimum, the age and gender of the Bee's winner. This story from last year includes a speechless Bee director being shown various prop bets, including 4-to-7 that the winner would be wearing glasses. I couldn't find odds at PinnacleSports this year, but you can enter another pool at A List of Things Thrown Five Minutes Ago. And I imagine I will be blogging prolifically tomorrow morning, so you should feel free to bet on my total word count.

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 30, 2007; 10:53 AM ET
Categories:  Weirdness  
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