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Bet on Xmas goat's fate

5 Dec 2006

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao – (PRESS RELEASE) -- For the past 40 years, the small Swedish town of Gavle has erected a giant straw goat to mark the start of the festive season. And every year since 1966, vandals have tried to destroy the goat, creating what has become an annual Christmas ritual of attempting to destroy the straw goat. Now for the first time in the custom's history, PinnacleSports.com is allowing people to bet on whether the giant goat of Gavle will survive through Christmas Day.

As the tradition goes, vandals attempt to destroy the 13-meter (43 foot) high goat usually within days of its creation, with arson being the preferred method, and only 10 times since 1966 has the goat survived intact through Christmas Day. Just last year, two culprits dressed as Father Christmas and a gingerbread man got close enough to the goat to burn it down using flaming arrows. Although constructor's claim this year's goat is completely fire- proof, PinnacleSports.com believes the straw statue will once again be destroyed before Christmas.

While local townspeople have declared that "nobody will get their goat this year," the oddsmakers at Pinnacle Sports think otherwise, listing the odds of the goat's demise prior to Christmas Day as a 2/3 favorite (i.e., win $2 for every $3 bet). Meanwhile, the odds that the statue will remain unharmed and the townspeople of Gavle will awaken with their goat intact on Christmas morning are a slight underdog at 7/5.

"Each year the town of Gavle erects an enormous goat to celebrate the festive season, which commences the battle between vandals trying to destroy the structure and those protecting the goat," said Simon Noble of PinnacleSports.com. "Despite coating this year's straw statue in a waterproof, flame-retardant coating, odds are the goat will go up in smoke before Christmas again this year."

The bet offer at PinnacleSports.com is on whether the straw goat of Gavle survives until the stroke of Midnight Central European Time (CET) on the night of December 24th to 25th. If the goat is toppled, removed, withdrawn, or otherwise destroyed before that moment, all bets will be settled as the goat having not lasted until Christmas. Should the goat undergo onsite repairs without being removed from its moorings, while always remaining intact without being toppled on its side, the goat is deemed to be happy, healthy and lasting.

 
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