Punters placing bets Facebook shares at $35

Can’t get in on the Facebook IPO? Well, here’s your chance to make a little money on the year’s hottest public offering without even buying a share.

Paddy Power, Europe’s largest betting company, just started taking bets on what the share price will be when the social-media giant goes public later this year. Punters (that’s gamblers in British slang) have given 10 to 11 odds that the most likely price range will fall between $35 to $44.99 a share.  There are 7 to 2 odds the initial price will be $25 to $34.99, 9/4 odds of between $45 and $54.99, and 7 to 1 odds of between $55 and $64.99.

And there are 9 to 2 odds that it will price over $65. That would still be much cheaper than Google Inc.’s $85 price when it debuted eight years ago.

"With Facebook now a part of most of our day-to-day lives, the IPO was always going to get people talking," Feilim Mac An Iomaire, a spokesman for Dublin-based Paddy Power, said in the statement. "The odds would suggest that the price will fall between $35 and $44.99, but given Facebook's history of exceeding expectations, I don't think we can rule anything out."

Investors won't find out who wins until the opening bell rings on the day of the IPO. And, yes, there’s even bets on that – Paddy Power is giving 1 to 100 odds it’ll be co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Joining him might be Sean Parker (25 to 1), Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates (50 to 1), and maybe even U2 lead singer Bono (100 to 1).


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