Pictured: Probably not the guy who placed the bet.
As emphatically as one could ever tell a psychic octopus to shove it, someone has placed a €500,000 ($631,000) bet on Germany to go against Paul the octpus' prediction and beat Spain in their semifinal match. U.K. bookmaker William Hill says the record bet was placed over the phone at 10/11 odds. If Germany wins, the caller, who is "based in Europe," will take €954,000 ($1.2 million). A William Hill spokesman told Bettingpro.com:
"There has never been a bigger World Cup bet placed and it follows a number of other hefty wagers on the Germans to win the tournament, including 80,000 euros at 14/1 and 100,000 euros at 13/2, and another 75,000 euros for them to reach the final. We don't much mind who wins the World Cup at this stage - as long as it isn't Germany.
"Mind you, Spain haven't exactly been unbacked and we have bets of £50,000, £25,000 and two of £10,000 each on them to win the tournament."
So while the people at William Hill root for Spain in a pool of cold sweats and Paul the octopus floats, completely oblivious to the concept of sports, a few anonymous Germany fans will stand to make an incredible amount of money off a single match. Assuming Germany continues their bulldozing of all comers. If not, just try to muffle your laughter.
UPDATE: Well, Spain won 1-0, Paul was right again and that European better is now out €500,000. Let this be a lesson to all of us. Never ever bet against an oracle octopus.