Has online gambling revealed the winners of CBS's 'The Amazing Race 7'?
By Wade Paulsen, 03/09/2005
Have the winners of yet another reality show been "outed" by online bettors?
(SPOILER ALERT: If you don't want to know the identity of the possible winners of The Amazing Race 7, please stop reading this article now.)
In a press release issued today, Sportsbook.com announced that it has suspended wagering on CBS's currently-airing The Amazing Race 7 reality series, due to an unusual amount of wagering on one specific team over a 12-hour period from Thursday, March 3 to Friday, March 4. The bets, placed from California and Massachusetts, were all for the maximum amount allowed under the reality TV betting guidelines on the site.
"Sportsbook.com is no longer taking bets on The Amazing Race. In fairness to our customers we will honor all wagers that have already been placed on this event," said Alex Czajkowski, marketing director of Sportsbook.com.
So, which team did the online betting run favor? Perhaps engaged Survivor millionaires Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich, known to their fans as "Romber," who have been the strongest team so far on TAR7 and who have ties to both California and Massachusetts? Nope.
The beneficiary of the disproportionate betting is the married team of Uchenna and Joyce Agu, from Houston, TX. Uchenna and Joyce worked for companies that pulled two of the biggest corporate frauds of all time, Enron and WorldCom. If they do win the first-prize cash, we hope they don't make any loans to their former employers.
If this betting surge proves to correctly identify the winners, it would mark the fifth time that the winner of a reality show had been known to (or, at least, suspected by) people who then used the "insider" knowledge to win money via online betting sites ... and the fourth different reality show to be involved. The first instance involved ABC's The Bachelor 2, when residents of Springfield, Missouri bet on BetWWTS.com that hometown boy Aaron Buerge's final rose would be given to Helene Eksterowicz -- a report strongly (but falsely) denied by the network.
Next came two instances involving CBS's Survivor. In Survivor: The Amazon (the sixth series), BoDog Sportsbook & Casino reported that a number of CBS employees had wagered on the final two being Jenna Morasca and Matthew von Ertfelda, as it indeed was. In the very next series, Survivor: Pearl Islands, BetWWTS.com suspended betting in September 2003, before the show even aired, after receiving over 95% of its bets on eventual winner Sandra Diaz-Twine; a week later, Intertops.com also suspended betting after receiving disproportionate action on Sandra and "decoy" Osten Taylor (who actually quit the show halfway through).