Bob Dylan has surged into the position of hot favourite for the Nobel Literature Prize after a wave of late bets on the legendary singer-songwriter, a leading bookmakers said Wednesday.
Ladbrokes reported that 80 percent of the bets taken over a 12-hour period went on Dylan, causing his odds to tumble from 100-1 to 5-1 ahead of Thursday's announcement.
Wagers have been placed by punters from Japan, Canada, Sweden -- the home of the Nobel committee -- and nearly every country in Europe, the London-based bookmakers said.
Punters have shunned previous favourites Haruki Murakami, now at 8-1, and Tomas Transtroemer (10-1).
Given the current situation in the Middle East, speculation in Stockholm's literary circles has pointed to Syrian poet Adonis winning the award, but his odds have fallen to 6-1.
Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said: "We have seen a lot of bets from Sweden, from people we believe to be quite well-informed.
"Everything now points to Dylan taking the prize. At first we had him down as a rank outsider but the committee have been known to spring a shock and punters the world over feel Dylan will be the beneficiary."
Last year's winner was Spanish-Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa.