Betting on the Booker Prize Winner 2024

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Want to bet on the Booker Prize 2023? Our expert guide unravels betting odds, scrutinizes shortlisted contenders, and draws lessons from past winners.

Betting on the Booker Prize Winner 2024
Nigel Skinner Blog Content Manager

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The Booker Prize Betting

Unleash the bibliophile in you and step into the exciting world of literary betting as we delve into the nuanced art of betting on the illustrious Booker Prize. This fascinating gamble, seen as a thrilling subplot in the vast narrative of world literature, adds a dash of intrigue to the prestigious Booker Prize suitably functioning as the literary equivalent of Grand National or Kentucky Derby betting.

Booker Prize Key Dates

The Booker Dozen’ of 12 or 13 books will be announced in July 2023 with a shortlist of six books to follow in September. The winner of the £50,000 prize will be announced in the Autumn of 2023.

In this article, we will present the shortlist of this year’s aspiring nominees, destined to be added to the pantheon of literary greats. We further review the past laureates of this esteemed literature award, essentially providing a literary and betting guide to the Booker Prize, often rightly considered as the ‘Ultimate Literary Game of Thrones’.

Current Booker Prize Betting Odds (Shortlist Stage)

Below are the latest betting odds correct as of 27th September 2023, subsequent to the shortlist announcement on 21st September - The list of 13 in the long list has been cut to the final 6

Booker Prize 2023 Winner Odds Probability
Paul Lynch - Prophet Song 2/1 33.30%
Paul Murray - The Bee Sting 5/2 28.60%
Chetna Maroo - Western Lane 3/1 25.00%
Sarah Bernstein - Study for Obedience 6/1 14.30%
Jonathon Escoffery - If I Survive You 6/1 14.30%
Paul Harding - This Other Eden 6/1 14.30%
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For the most up to date information and market moves, take a look at our betting news feed which will have the latest coverage.

Booker Prize 2023 Betting Odds: Tan Twan Eng’s novel The House of Doors is 2/1 favourite to win this year's Booker Prize after longlist announced!
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Booker Prize 2023 Betting Odds: Tan Twan Eng’s novel The House of Doors is 2/1 favourite to win this year's Booker Prize after longlist announced!

Booker Prize 2023 Contenders (Shortlist)

We have now arrived at the Shortlist stage of the 2023 contest and here are each of those on the list in detail. The previous long list contenders remain listed below. 

Prophet Song - Paul Lynch

"Prophet Song" is a captivating novel from an internationally acclaimed author that paints a stark picture of a country descending into tyranny. Set in Dublin, the narrative revolves around Eilish Stack, a scientist and mother of four whose life spirals out of control when her trade unionist husband is interrogated and then goes missing. Amidst the disarray caused by a rapidly deteriorating political situation, she grapples with how far she is willing to go and what she would sacrifice to protect her family. The novel is strikingly original, incredibly engaging, and delivers a chilling depiction of societal breakdown. Additionally, it presents a deeply poignant portrayal of a mother's desperate struggle to keep her family intact.    

The Bee Sting - Paul Murray

"The Bee Sting" is a story about a struggling family facing personal and financial crises. Dickie Barnes, the father, now bankrupt, is preoccupied with constructing an apocalypse-proof bunker instead of salvaging his failing car business. Imelda, his wife, is reluctantly fending off a flirtatious cattle farmer while selling her jewellery online to make some cash. Their academically gifted daughter Cass, is opting to drown her problems in alcohol, whereas 12-year-old PJ is planning to run away due to debt-related issues with a local menace, 'Ears' Moran. The novel examines how one unlucky incident can drastically alter the path of life, leaving readers to question whether it's possible to rewrite the story and seek a happy ending.  

Western Lane - Chetna Maroo   

 

"Western Lane" is Chetna Maroo’s compelling debut novel about an eleven-year-old squash prodigy named Gopi, who resorts to the sport as a coping mechanism after her mother’s death. Engaged in an intense training regimen by her father, Gopi's world condenses to the squash court while she slowly drifts away from her sisters. Yet, through her connection with her father, a fellow player Ged, and the legacy of past players, she finds company and grows. The novel beautifully encapsulates the nuances of grief, self-discovery, and sisterhood, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. Renowned author Aravind Adiga praises it as a 'glorious' book that readers would want to revisit repeatedly.

If I Survive You - Jonathan Escoffery

"If I Survive You" is a novel set in 1979 about Topper and Sanya, who flee from political violence in Kingston to Miami, only to face discrimination in America. Their sons, Trelawny and Delano, struggle with their identities and futures in a country marked by racism and crisis. The family faces numerous hurdles such as an unreliable father, racism, a financial crisis, and Hurricane Andrew. The brothers' rivalry threatens to tear their family apart. This book, written by Jonathan Escoffery, explores the hardships of living between cultures and the significance of hope in challenging times.

Study for Obedience - Sarah Bernstein

"Study for Obedience" tells the story of a young woman who moves to the northern country to help her brother after his wife leaves him. After her arrival, strange events seem to cause an increase in local suspicion towards her. The mounting hostility makes her worried about the consequences should the situation escalate, questioning what people might be capable of doing. Author Sarah Bernstein uses a lyrical voice to explore themes of power, displacement, and inheritance, establishing herself as one of the most exciting voices of her generation with this unsettling novel.

This Other Eden - Paul Harding

"This Other Eden" by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Harding, is a profound narrative rooted in the real-life story of Malaga Island. The tale begins in 1792, with the discovery of the island by former slave Benjamin Honey and his Irish wife, Patience. Over centuries, the island becomes a refuge for a racially diverse, impoverished, and often overlooked community, including the Honeys' descendants. The book explores the turbulent events of 1912, when retired teacher Matthew Diamond disrupts the island's longstanding peace and unintentionally leads to a forced evacuation and redevelopment of the island by mainland authorities. Told in evocative prose, the novel boasts a remarkable ensemble of characters, charting their fight for survival and dignity amidst societal prejudice and injustice. The compelling story, bookended by biblical allusions to Noah's Ark, offers a timeless testament to human resilience.    

Those that didn't make it

These are the novels that were originally selected for the long list but fell by the wayside when the shortlist was announced. Still very good reads it should be noted

The House of Doors - Tan Twan Eng

Set in the 1920s, "The House of Doors" by Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author, Tan Twan Eng, tells the riveting story of Robert and Lesley Hamlyn, a prominent couple who host the renowned author Willie Somerset Maugham in their grand Cassowary House in Penang. Engulfed in personal adversities including an unhappy marriage and faltering business interests, Maugham is also facing a writing block. As he prepares to confront his troubles, Lesley discloses her own secrets, including her past interactions with the revolutionary Dr. Sun Yat Sen and her dubious connection to a scandalous murder case involving an Englishwoman in Kuala Lumpur. This meticulously crafted novel is a revealing exploration of human morality and the elusive nature of truth, based on real historical events and set against the backdrop of the British Empire.

In Ascension - Martin MacInnes

"In Ascension" is a riveting novel about Leigh, a marine biologist from Rotterdam whose life takes an unpredictable turn after a groundbreaking discovery in the Atlantic Ocean. This discovery, rather than providing evidence of Earth's earliest life forms as she had hoped, instead challenges our basic understanding of life's origins. The ensuing expedition takes her on a scientific odyssey that spans both the depths of our oceans and the vast expanses of space, while also drawing her into affiliation with an ambitious new space agency. However, this venture comes with a painful choice, forcing her to abandon her ailing mother and younger sister. The novel is an intricate blend of scientific curiosity and a delicate exploration of human emotions. It beautifully manifests how, despite losing hope or being distant, humans will always endeavour to reconnect with their roots and loved ones.

All the Little Bird-Hearts - Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow

"Sunday's Child" is a captivating story that orbits around Sunday Forrester, a woman living with her independent-minded daughter, Dolly, who is poised to leave home. Sunday lives by strict rules and finds solace in her etiquette guide and Sicilian folklore. Her controlled world is disrupted by the arrival of new neighbors, Vita and Rollo, who win her over with their charm and tear away at her rule-based existence. However, as Sunday experiences a sense of acceptance she hasn't felt before, she soon discovers a hidden darkness beneath her new friends' allure. The novel hints at a brewing conflict, driven by Vita’s deep-seated desire for a daughter of her own.

Pearl - Siân Hughes

"Pearl" is a poignant narrative revolving around Marianne, an eight-year-old girl grappling with her mother's disappearance. Living in a derelict house with her infant brother and a grieving father, she finds solace in her fragmented childhood memories and a medieval poem, Pearl. Over time, haunted by her mother's absence and her father's cryptic silence, she embarks on the task of illustrating Pearl, a project that remains perpetually unfinished. An eerie gravestone and the decaying family home trigger her self-destructive tendencies. However, the book poses the questions: can Marianne's dedication to art offer her healing? Will stepping into the role of motherhood reconcile her past and present?    

How to Build a Boat - Elaine Feeney

"How to Build a Boat" is a heartwarming story about a 13-year-old boy named Jamie O'Neill who seeks to build a Perpetual Motion Machine and connect with his late mother. At his new school, he finds two teachers, Tess and Tadhg, who could assist him on his journey. As Jamie embarks on his mission, he manages to impact his teachers' lives significantly and unite a community. The book emphasises the themes of love, family, the power of imagination, and the importance of companionship.   

Old God's Time - Sebastian Barry

In the novel, recently retired policeman Tom Kettle moves into a quiet annex of a Victorian castle overlooking the Irish Sea. While he lives in seclusion, reminiscing about his family, his peace is interrupted when two of his former colleagues visit him with inquiries about a decades-old unresolved case. This unexpected interruption leads Tom back into the depths of his past.

A Spell of Good Things - Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

The book tells a story of modern Nigeria, exploring the themes of wealth, power, obsession, and political corruption. It follows the lives of two characters: Eniola, a tall boy who dreams of a better future, and Wuraola, a privileged young doctor. Their lives intersect when a local politician takes an interest in Eniola and a sudden violent event shakes up a family party. The novel, penned by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, explores the deep divide between the affluent and the poor in Nigeria, and the common human thread that binds them all.

The Booker Prize Betting News Diary Timeline

The betting for The Booker Prize is normally available after the longlist is revealed and then updated when the final six on the shortlist are announced.  Often the major bookies disagree on a favourite and there is plenty of movement in the Booker Prize Odds. 

Here is a round-up of the Booker Prize Betting News from our OLBG News feed

15th May 2024

International Booker Prize Betting Odds: Brazilian writer Itamar Vieira Junior is now 6/4 to win this year's International Booker Prize as bookies offer odds!
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International Booker Prize Betting Odds: Brazilian writer Itamar Vieira Junior is now 6/4 to win this year's International Booker Prize as bookies offer odds!

16th November 2023

Booker Prize 2023 Betting Odds: Paul Lynch's Prophet Song remains CLEAR FAVOURITE to win the Booker Prize with announcement at end of this month!
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Booker Prize 2023 Betting Odds: Paul Lynch's Prophet Song remains CLEAR FAVOURITE to win the Booker Prize with announcement at end of this month!

15th August 2023

Booker Prize 2023 Betting Odds: Tan Twan Eng’s novel The House of Doors is 2/1 favourite to win this year's Booker Prize after longlist announced!
ALSO READ

Booker Prize 2023 Betting Odds: Tan Twan Eng’s novel The House of Doors is 2/1 favourite to win this year's Booker Prize after longlist announced!

12th October 2022

Booker Prize 2022 Betting Odds: Elizabeth Strout's 'Oh William!' now into 3/1 favourite with bookmakers to win this year's Booker Prize Award!
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Booker Prize 2022 Betting Odds: Elizabeth Strout's 'Oh William!' now into 3/1 favourite with bookmakers to win this year's Booker Prize Award!

Elizabeth Strout is now the bookmaker's favourite to win this year's Booker Prize Award ahead of next week's event. The 2022 Booker Prize winner will be awarded on 17th October with the first public event with the winner set for Thursday 20th at Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall. Smarkets have made Elizabeth Strout's 'Oh William!' the 3/1 favourite just ahead of 'The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida' by Shahan Karunatilaka.

1st September 2022

Booker Prize 2022 Betting Odds: Alan Garner's Treacle Walker REMAINS 5/1 favourite with betting sites to win this year's award!
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Booker Prize 2022 Betting Odds: Alan Garner's Treacle Walker REMAINS 5/1 favourite with betting sites to win this year's award!

Alan Garner's Treacle Walker is now the 5/1 favourite with betting sites to win the 2022 Booker Prize Award. Walker's booked has received massive critical acclaim with one report in the Guardian calling it the "book of a lifetime". Maddie Mortimer's Maps of our Spectacular Bodies is joint-favourite at 5/1 with some betting sites. Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout is just behind in the betting market with Bet365 at 6/1, with 13 candidates in the odds. Those 13 candidates will be whittled down to just 6 nominees next week on the 6th of September.

4th August 2022

Booker Prize 2022 Betting Odds: Alan Garner's Treacle Walker is the 9/2 favourite to win this year's award!
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Booker Prize 2022 Betting Odds: Alan Garner's Treacle Walker is the 9/2 favourite to win this year's award!

Alan Garner's Treacle Walker is now the 9/2 favourite with bookmakers to win the 2022 Booker Prize Award. Walker's book has received massive critical acclaim with one report in the Guardian calling it the "book of a lifetime". Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout is just behind in the betting market at 5/1, with 13 candidates in the odds. Bet365 have a full list of odds available for the Prize, with each longlist nominee given odds.

15th September 2021

Damon Galgut is cut to 5/2 with Bookmakers with a Promise of Booker Prize Glory
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Damon Galgut is cut to 5/2 with Bookmakers with a Promise of Booker Prize Glory

There were 7 disappointed authors from the Booker prize betting yesterday as their chances were killed off with the final shortlist of 6 being announced. The biggest to have been dropped being Kazuo Ishiguru's Klara and the Sun which had been Third Favourite at the shortlist 13 stage. Rachel Cusk's Second Place will not be gaining that position this year either after being dropped. Damon Galgut's 'The Promise' remains the favourite to win at 5/2 with bookmakers, closely followed by Richard Power's highly acclaimed 'Bewilderment' at 3/1, the remainder of the odds suggest this is rather a two-horse-race.

31st August 2021

Bookmakers Make Kazuo Ishiguro 6/1 3rd Favourite to Land Second Booker Prize after 32 years!
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Bookmakers Make Kazuo Ishiguro 6/1 3rd Favourite to Land Second Booker Prize after 32 years!

As August comes to a close there are 13 excited authors on the Booker prize long list waiting expectedly and hoping their publication is not one of the seven eliminated as the Booker prize shortlist is announced on 14th September. There are currently there joint-favourites all being offered by Bookmakers at the same 11/2 odds to win the prize including Klara and the Sun from Kazuo Ishiguro. The Japanese-born British author has had multiple nominations in his career and has a previous booker prize win under his belt for 'Remains of the Day' back in 1989. Klara and the Sun is currently 11/2 to win representing a 15% chance as per bookmakers' odds. There is little to choose between the given probabilities of the expected 6 books to make the shortlist on 14th September. 

What is Booker Prize Betting?

Every year since 1969 there has been a Booker Prize Literary Award. In recent times the bookmakers have latched on to the interest the prize generates and started offering betting odds on the novels.  

Booker Prize Judges

This year the five judges are Esi Edugyan, Adjoa Andoh, Mary Jean Chan, James Shapiro, and Robert Webb.

Booker Prize Betting Markets

The main market that the majority of the best betting sites will have is selecting the Booker Prize winner. 

However other markets can be offered or you can ask directly for prices on a range of options 

  • Choose the English language novel that will win the Booker Prize this year. 
  • Will the Booker Prize be won by someone born in the United Kingdom?
  • Will the Booker Prize be won by a debut novelist?


How To Place A Booker Prize Bet

  • Once at the bookmakers scroll to the specials market and find Booker Prize Betting
  • Here you will see the list of books being offered as options to bet on.
  • All you need do is click on your selection.
  • This will open up the bet slip, at which point you will see confirmation of the betting odds being offered
  • Now you choose your stake - most betting sites will show you how much you can expect to have returned if your prediction is correct.
  • If you are happy, simply hit, PLACE BET, to confirm your selection, stake, and bet.
  • You will be given a receipt for your bet and it will appear in your open bets in your account details.
  • Then it's just a matter of waiting to see which of the books is chosen as the winner.

The Booker Prize Winners 1969-2022

Year Winner Author Novel Born
2022 Winner Shehan Karunatilaka The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida Sri Lanka
2021 Winner Damon Galgut The Promise South Africa
2020 Winner Douglas Stuart Shuggie Bain Scotland
2019 Joint Winner Margaret Atwood The Testaments Canada
2019 Joint Winner Bernardine Evaristo Girl, Woman, Other England
2018 Winner Anna Burns Milkman Northern Ireland
2017 Winner George Saunders Lincoln in the Bardo USA
2016 Winner Paul Beatty The Sellout USA
2015 Winner Marlon James A Brief History of Seven Killings Jamaica
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Booker Prize Nationality of Winners

The Booker Prize is a truly international award as you can see by the winners below. 

English Booker Prize Winners

Around 53% of Booker Prize winners were born in the UK.

Country of Birth Wins
United Kingdom 29
Australia 5
Canada 4
Ireland 3
India 3
South Africa 3
New Zealand 2
USA 2
France 1
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More Than One Winner

The Booker Prize has been shared on 3 occasions, in 1974, 1992, and 2019.

The Booker Prize Statistics

It can help our booker prize betting decisions to research various aspects of previous booker prize winners.

GenreBooker Prize Percentage
Historical fiction36%
Fiction27%
Psychological Fiction11%
Historical Metafiction4%
Domestic Fiction4%
Dark Comedy4%
Philosophical, Biography, Mystery, Comic14%


Male or Female

35 Male (66%) and 18 Female (34%) authors have won the Booker Prize.

Five authors have won the Booker Prize on two occasions.

AuthorTitle & Year
Margaret Attwood2019 Testaments & 2000 The Blind Assasin 
Hilary Mantel2009 Wolf Hall & 2012 Bring Out The Bodies
Peter Carey1988 Oscar and Lucinda & 2001 True History Of the Kelly Gang
JM Coetzee1983 Life and Times Of Michael K & 1999 Disgrace
JG Farrell1973 The Siege of Krishnapur & 2010 The Troubles 


The Booker Prize Historical Betting Odds

To give you some insight into betting odds and percentages here are the betting odds prior to the winner being announced. 

2022

Author Title Betting Odds Bookmakers Percentage Chance
Alan Garner Treacle Walker 4.0 or 3/1 25%
Elizabeth Strout Oh William! 4.5 or 7/2 22.22%
NoViolet Bulawayo Glory 4.5 or 7/2 22.22%
Shehan Karunatilaka (Winner) The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida 6.0 or 5/1 16.67%
Claire Keegan Small Things Like These 6.0 or 5/1 16.67%
Percival Everett The Trees 6.5 or 11/2 15.38%
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2021

AuthorTitleBetting OddsBookmakers Percentage Chance
Damon Galgut (Winner)The Promise2.75 or 2/1 36.36%
Nadifa MohamedThe Fortune Men3.0 or 2/133.33%
Maggie ShipsteadGreat Circle3.75 or 11/426.67%
Richard PowersBewilderment8.0 or 7/112.50%
Anuk ArudpragasamA Passage North10.0 or 9/110.00%
Patricia LockwoodNo One Is Talking About This10.0 or 9/110.00%

2020

AuthorTitleBetting OddsBookmakers Percentage Chance
Douglas Stuart (Winner)Shuggie Bain4.5 or 7/2 @ Ladbrokes22.22%
Maaza MengisteThe Shadow King5.0 or 4/1 @ Ladbrokes20.67%
Tsitsi DangarembgaThis Mournable Body5.0 or 4/1 @ Paddy Power20.00%
Brandon TaylorReal Life7.0 or 6/1 @Paddy Power14.27%
Diane CookThe New Wilderness9.0 or 8/1 @ Ladbrokes11.11%
Avni DoshiBurnt Sugar13.00 or 12/1@ Ladbrokes7.69%



International Booker Prize Winner 2022

The winner was announced last year as The Tomb Of The Sand by Geetanjali Shree translated by Daisy Rockwell. In 2021 it was At Night All Blood Is Black by David Diop and translated by Anna Moschovakis

International Booker Prize

The International Booker Prize is awarded annually for the finest single work of fiction from around the world which has been translated into English and published in the UK and Ireland.

The £50,000 International Booker Prize money is equally split between the author and translator. 

Booker Prize

With jury voting, it will always be a subjective opinion, and with human beings prone to emotion the most moving novel often seems to do well.

The Booker Prize Controversy

Since the Booker Prize was created in 1969 it has seen its fair share of controversy with both at times judges and authors questioning the fairness of the award and whether it is appropriate to rate books. 

In 2019 the judges went off message by awarding the prize to two authors, despite being told that this was against the Booker rules. 

In  June 2020 there was another literary furore when the Booker Foundation Vice President Lady Nicholson was removed from her honorary position. 

The Peer had been criticized by writers who accused her of homophobia.

Authors cited her for voting against the Same-Sex Marriage Bill, and for as some saw it her controversial comments on social media in relation to the trans community.

FAQ

Booker Prize FAQ

  • How long have we been able to bet on the Booker Prize?

    Booker Prize Betting has been available since 2015, the odds tend to be on offer from the biggest betting sites. 


  • What month do we first get Booker Prize Odds?

     The Booker Prize odds are normally available when the long list is announced, (In 2022 it was the end of July)


  • What year was the Booker Prize first awarded?

     1969 saw the Inaugural Booker Prize award.


  • Who was the first winner of the Booker Prize?

    P.H Newby, his winning novel was titled Something to Answer For. He was prolific, writing more than 25 fiction and non-fiction books. 


  • Who is the Oldest Booker Prize winner?

    The oldest Booker Prize winner was Margaret Attwood.

    She was 79 when she shared the Booker Prize in 2019 for her novel The Testaments.

    This was a sequel to the now better known The Handmaid's Tale. 

  • Who is the Youngest Booker Prize winner?

    The youngest Booker Prize Winner is Eleanor Catton, she was just 28 when she won in 2013 for The Luminaries, a complex and lengthy mystery. 

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