celebrity props

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Wed Oct 26 04:21:22 UTC 2005


The latest on the "props" front, previously discussed here:
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0509D&L=ADS-L&P=R4699

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/story/358851p-305780c.html
New York Daily News, Oct. 24, 2005

Celebrity proposition bets (also known in the business as "props") are the
latest rage in the billion-dollar online-betting business ¬ó a sort of
sports book for the Us Weekly generation.
"People want to be participants, not just observers," says Calvin Ayre,
founder and CEO of Bodog.com. "They like betting on celebrities because it
makes them feel closer to the stars."
Ayre's site takes between $2,000 and $20,000 of action on each of more
than a dozen pop-culture scenarios, from the traditional (Who will win
"The Apprentice: Martha Stewart"?) to the absurd (Will Oprah Winfrey
convert to Scientology?). But don't expect to put down a deposit on a new
mansion based on correctly guessing the sex of your favorite star's kid.
Celebrity props don't generally offer the limitless big paydays associated
with sports bets.
[...]
"It's one guy's job to keep up with all the gossip," says oddsmaker Justin
Marios. "We read all the stories and get all the info we can on the
­celebrity. If it is a divorce prop, we know that pretty much every
marriage in Hollywood doesn't last. So we go largely by the amount of time
they have been together.
"Anything under a year, we are never going to go over 5 to 1 of them
divorcing because the probabilities are high that a new marriage will
dissolve."


--Ben Zimmer



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