Punters conjure end for Potter26/12/2006 - 15:44:56
Harry Potter’s arch enemy, Lord Voldemort, is the odds-on favourite to kill off the famous boy wizard in the final instalment of the series, it was revealed today.
Bookmaker William Hill said Potter punters are throwing their weight behind Voldemort – and even Harry himself – to bring about the demise of the schoolboy.
The revelation came just days after the name of JK Rowling’s long-awaited seventh book was revealed as Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.
Now that the title is in the open, the bookies said Potter fans have switched their attention to the question of who might kill the popular magical hero.
Multi-millionaire Rowling recently hinted that two characters are expected to die in the finale – and Harry himself might not survive – saying: “We are dealing with pure evil here. They don’t target extras, do they? They go for the main characters – well, I do.”
William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said of the recent betting trends: “JK mentioned that Harry might be killed off and the general consensus seems to be that Harry is the final Horcrux and to ensure that Voldemort dies he will need to be sacrificed.
“Most of the early money has been for Harry, who has been cut from 10/1 to 6/1. Voldemort remains the odds-on favourite.”
A Horcrux is an item which can hold a person’s soul, ensuring their immortality. Harry will have to destroy all of them if he is to kill Voldemort.
Bookies have reassured potential punters that all bets will be void and stake money will be returned if Potter survives.
Mr Adams added that the bookies have also accepted punts on Ron and Hermione to marry, with Harry as best man, and on Harry to catch the snitch in a Quidditch world cup.
A publication date has not yet been set for the book, which will follow Harry and friends during their final year at Hogwarts.
Rowling, 41, has said on her website that she is still writing the book.
The last book, Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, broke UK records by selling 2,009,574 copies on its first day of release.
Sales of all Harry Potter titles now total more than 52 million worldwide.
The phenomenon began back in 1997 with the publication of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone.
The first four books have been adapted into hit films starring Daniel Radcliffe as the boy wizard.
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